While some sculptors use clay or marble, others like Japan-based artist Jumpei Mitsui use more unconventional materials. As one of 21 certified professional LEGO builders, he specializes in making original sculptures using numerous, colorful LEGO bricks in a variety of sizes. Recently, Mitsui completed an incredible large-scale 3D rendition of Hokusai's famous woodblock print The Great Wave Off Kanagawa out of 50,000 LEGO blocks. It depicts the iconic blue wave as it's just about to crash over the traditional boats passing over the water.
Although Mitsui is an expert at building with LEGOs—which he shows in his YouTube tutorials—this massive project required extra research and planning. In order to properly capture the original design, he poured over several academic papers that explained the science of giant wave formations and studied the movement of crashing waves in many videos. Then, Mitsui prepared sketches that detailed how the final model was going to look. He included all of the recognizable elements from Hokusai's work, like Mount Fuji and the sailor-led rowboats. The final piece measures about 4 feet x 5 feet in total and can be seen in person at the Hankyu Brick Museum in Osaka, Japan.
Scroll down to see more images of Mitsui's Great Wave sculpture, and follow the artist on Instagram and Twitter to keep up to date with his latest LEGO creations.
Artist Jumpei Mitsui recreated Hokusai's Great Wave with LEGO blocks.
A certified professional LEGO builder, Mitsui spent 400 hours putting together the sculpture out of 50,000 blocks.
This is the BEST WAVE I've ever built with LEGO bricks !!!
“The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai” pic.twitter.com/EQrv32E0bS
— 三井淳平 / Jumpei Mitsui (@Jumpei_Mitsui) December 11, 2020
レゴで作った「富嶽三十六景 神奈川沖浪裏」を動画で撮ってみました。絵の登場人物の目線で楽しむことができます。 pic.twitter.com/V8TTIJ8l2D
— 三井淳平 / Jumpei Mitsui (@Jumpei_Mitsui) December 12, 2020