It’s New Year’s Day where I am currently sitting*. The sun is shining. It is around 30º C (86ºF to those in other parts of the world). Last year was a hectic year: we had been locked down for large parts of 2020 and 2021, and it felt like half of society was trying to make up the missed time socialising and getting work done, while the other half was trying to keep out of harm’s way. [*I might have taken an extra day to edit this]
Ultimately, it is time to kick my feet up and relax. As good fortune would have it, The lovely people at the LEGO Group have sent me a copy of the latest LEGO Art Set: Hokusai The Great Wave. Based on Hokusai’s woodcut ‘The Great Wave off Kanagawa,’ the set promised me “the chance to immerse [myself] into the relaxing project of recreating the iconic Great Wave, captured in a LEGO Art set. This set offers so many ways that fans can unwind and find their flow. Not just immersing themselves into the building process, but also getting into the artwork and how that is composed.”
So, did it deliver? Running from Christmas to New Year’s Eve is often a mental challenge: so many last-minute things to do. If there was one thing I needed, it was a chance to relax.
And More importantly, will I feel happy to nail it to the wall afterwards?
In the years since the LEGO ART range was first released we have seen simple mosaics, wrapped in a simple frame, with multiple options, as well as the more creatively shaped Rolling Stones logo. The LEGO Ideas set 21333 Starry Night demonstrated the scope for adding another figurative dimension to an artwork.
Today, the LEGO Group has officially revealed 31208 The Great Wave. Based on Hokusai’s wood cut, the Great Wave, this mosaic extends out beyond the world of studs and DOTs, adding wedge plate, tiles and leaves to add to the foam of of the rough sea behind it.
The three boats under the wave are represented by tan wedge plates, with printed tiles representing the sailors. The white matching, with tan frame brings us a more minimalist appearance than we have seen with the wrist >ahem< wave of Art sets.
The 1,810-piece LEGO Art Hokusai: The Great Wave set is available from January 1st from LEGO.com and LEGO retailers priced at €99.99 / $99.99 / £89.99/ 169.99 AUD/ 139.99 CAD (Release in APAC will be February 1, while release in India will be in March)
Billund, December 28, 2022: Easily one of the most recognizable and influential Japanese artworks of all time continues to make creative waves around the world: Hokusai – The Great Wave. The LEGO Group is paying tribute to this global masterpiece and its almost two-century long history by re-imagining the iconic masterpiece in LEGO Art form, giving lovers of art and Japanese culture the opportunity to immerse themselves into a relaxing build, perfect for displaying at home.
Since Katsushika Hokusai created the original woodblock print of The Great Wave in the early 1830’s, the image has decorated the walls of museums, inspired music, and been recreated as street art and merchandise around the world. The image portrays Mount FUJI, Japan’s iconic mountain, behind a large wave covering a group of small boats.
The artwork has now been re-imagined by LEGO designers in this new 1,810-piece LEGO Art set, featuring layers and elements of different shapes to portray the lines and depth of Hokusai’s original artwork.
“We’re thrilled that fans of art and Japanese culture will get the chance to immerse themselves into the relaxing project of recreating the iconic Great Wave, captured in a LEGO Art set,” said Annemette Baaskjær Nielsen, Designer at the LEGO Group.
“This set offers so many ways that fans can unwind and find their flow. Not just immersing themselves into the building process, but also getting into the artwork and how that is composed. Sparking an interest in Hokusai’s instantly recognizable original and its rich history of almost 200 years.”
According to new research, from the LEGO Group’s global ‘Play Well 2022 Report’, most adults (93%) regularly feel stressed and are looking for new ways to unwind and relax (80%). Most of them (92%) want to unwind and find their flow through activities that are related to their hobbies and interests.
Art and LEGO fans can find their flow as they build and listen to the accompanying soundtrack while looking through the premium booklet of instructions that features details about the original artwork. Using LEGO Art Hokusai: The Great wave as a great escape.
The 1,810-piece LEGO Art Hokusai: The Great Wave set is available from January 1st from LEGO.com and LEGO retailers priced at €99.99 / $99.99 / £89.99/ 169.99 AUD/ 139.99 CAD, except for APAC where it is available from 1st of February, and India from 1st of April.
What do you think of this new ART set? A refreshing approach? Or more of the same? Why not leave your comments below, and follow the Rambling Brick to make sure you see our review in coming weeks. Until then,
Travel has been off the books for the better part of a year now (maybe more, depending on where you are going to and from), but the latest LEGO Art release will help you keep an eye on where you might want to be going!
While you might not be able to get on a plane to travel, your LEGO can take you there.
The LEGO® Art World Map (31203) has 11695 elements – the highest part-count of any LEGO set to date. It will be available from LEGO.com, and LEGO Stores globally from 1st June 2021, priced from [EUR 249.99/ $USD249.99/£229.99/ $AUD399.99/ 349.99 CAD] and will become available from other retailers globally from 1st August 2021.
With the high part count, and I presume a 5×8 grid of 16×16 backing plates (that’s over 10200 pixels), this set will take some time to put together. You might need something to help take you through it, and there is an extensive soundtrack to accompany the build, bringing you tales of travellers and adventurers from around the world.
The opportunities for customising this set are a little less varied than for the first wave of LEGO Art Sets – the prescribed builds include 3 versions, with different continents in the centre of the map.
A couple of months ago, I put together the 31201 LEGO Art Harry Potter Hogwarts Crests (HPHC) mosaic, and I felt a little underwhelmed. But I think this was more a ‘me thing’ rather than an issue with the set: I personally didn’t feel a strong affinity with the source material, not really identifying with any particular Hogwarts House. I have heard from plenty of people who really enjoy the build, and want to build the set of crests, as well as the larger combination crest. So, as I said, it’s a Me thing. Perhaps I should have looked at a crest other than Hufflepuff’s?
That said, one positive point that I do appreciate is a large number of left over parts.
Of course, one of the stated goals for the LEGO ART range is not just to produce a mosaic which you could hang on your wall, but to also give adults an activity to focus on. You don’t need to hang your final result. you can dismantle it, and rebuild it as one of the other options, or even rebuild it as another image.
Despite personally feeling a little deflated by the HPHC building experience, I find the idea of building a LEGO Mosaic/Art set appealing. If you have followed my posts around the time of the range being announced, you will have seen my analysis of the value for money building the LEGO Art Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe, either through the set or purchasing the individual elements (Spoiler – they sets are good value for the elements you receive).
I’ll have to admit, the notion of a mass marketed LEGO Set based on the mass produced screen print of Marilyn Monroe amuses me as a further extension of the pop-art movement. So, I thought I would set out to investigate whether I could rebuild the Hogwarts Crest as Marilyn. Therefore using a mass produced LEGO Artwork to produce a different mass produced artwork. Now, along with virtually all Building instructions, you can download them from the LEGO customer support website, OR you can access them from Building Instructions App.