Japan’s only Lego Certified Professional recreates Japan’s most famous painting.

The Great Wave off Kanagawa is Japan’s most famous painting. Katsushika Hokusai’s 1831 masterpiece isn’t just the representative painted image for Japan, though, it’s also the definitive example of an ukiyo-e woodblock print.

But The Great Wave off Kanagawa being so strongly associated with woodblock prints doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be beautiful in another medium as well, and as proof, here it is rendered in Lego blocks.

We’ll save you the trouble of squinting and counting – there are roughly 50,000 pieces in this amazing recreation of Hokusai’s work. As you can probably guess, Lego itself doesn’t sell such a massive kit. Instead, this one-of-a-kind build comes from Jumpei Mitsui, the youngest Lego Certified Professional and the only one in Japan to receive the certification from the blocks’ manufacturer. Its three-dimensional structure allows you to view it from perspectives not possible with the original painting, further driving home just how steep and massive the wave is that’s towering over the fishermen in their boat.

The Lego Wave is approximately 154 centimeters (60.6) inches long and 128 centimeters (50,4 inches) inches tall. That means it’s too massive for Mitsui to just casually display on his living room table, to say nothing of the need to share this wonder with the rest of the world, so most of the time, the Lego Wave is on display at the Hankyu Brick Museum in Osaka.

However, later this month Mitsui’s Wave will, fittingly, cross the ocean. From March 26 to July 23, it’ll be part of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston’s Hokusai: Inspiration and Influence exhibit, which will feature over 100 pieces of art created by Hokusai himself plus works from “his teachers, students, rivals, and admirers,” with Mitsui clearly a member of that last group.

▼ The Lego Wave had to be separated into four sections for transportation.

Following its stay in Boston, Mitsui’s creation will also be making a stop at the Seattle Art Museum from October 19 to January 21 of 2024, so that West Coast fans of Japanese art and/or Danish building blocks can check it out. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a more compact salute to The Great Wave off Kanagawa, there’s a new one from Coca-Cola Japan.

Related: Hokusai: Inspiration and Influence website
Source, images: PR Times
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