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Lego Meets Hokusai with The Great Wave Lego Set: A Fusion of Art and Play

Home 5 Japanese art 5 Lego Meets Hokusai with The Great Wave Lego Set: A Fusion of Art and Play
Lego's The Great Wave Art set marries creative play with Japanese artistry, offering enthusiasts an immersive experience inspired by Hokusai's iconic woodblock print.
Last updated Jan 6, 2024
by Sal

Lego enthusiasts and art lovers rejoiced as Lego unveiled its highly anticipated Lego Art set, “The Great Wave,” a unique fusion of creativity and Japanese artistry. The inspiration for this captivating set comes from the iconic woodblock print “Under the Great Wave off Kanagawa,” created between 1830 and 1832 by the renowned Japanese Edo period artist Katsushika Hokusai.

The Great Wave by Hokusai

In the realm of Japanese art, few artists have achieved the level of admiration and reverence that Katsushika Hokusai commands. Known for his exceptional mastery of the ukiyo-e genre, Hokusai’s name is inseparably tied to his groundbreaking series, “The Thirty Six Views of Mount Fuji” from which The Great Wave originates.

The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai - ukiyo-e, Japanese woodblock art from The Thirty Six Views of Mount Fuji
The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai – ukiyo-e, Japanese woodblock art

Under the Great Wave off Kanagawa is regarded as one of the most familiar and renowned works in the ukiyo-e art genre. It depicts three fishing boats battling the wave. The central element of is, unsurprisingly, the great wave itself. It dwarfs Mount Fuji in the background, emphasizing the colossal power of nature. For a deeper dive read our article on The Iconic Power of The Great Wave off Kanagawa.

Original woodblock prints of The Great Wave often sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars. A rare well-preserved early edition listed under its full name of Kanagawa oki nami ura (Under the well of the Great Wave off Kanagawa),” sold at a Christie’s auction in March 2023 for a record $2.76 million.

The Great Wave Lego Set

The Lego Art set, comprising an impressive 1,810 pieces, meticulously captures the essence of Hokusai’s masterpiece. The construction process itself becomes a meditative experience, enhanced by an episodic soundtrack curated by Lego. This soundtrack not only adds depth to the building journey but also offers insights into the art and history that inspired the set. It provides a unique opportunity to delve into Lego’s conceptualization and execution of the Hokusai wave motif using their signature bricks. Once completed the set measures an impressive 39 cm x 52 cm (15.5 in x 20.5 in).

Building The Great Wave Lego Set - photo by Lego
Building The Great Wave Lego Set – photo by Lego

The set, designed for adults (age rating is 18+), introduces a novel approach to art appreciation by combining the joy of building with the mindfulness of creating a detailed and dimensional piece. The resulting artwork can be framed and proudly displayed on the wall, creating a visually stunning 3D effect with its layered bricks.

The lego set once completed can be hung on a wall
The lego set once completed can be hung on a wall – photo by Lego

Despite its immediate popularity, with sets quickly selling out, art enthusiasts can still acquire their own Lego Art set “The Great Wave” through online platforms like Brickshop, StockX or Amazon. The set not only pays homage to Hokusai’s legacy but also celebrates the intersection of traditional Japanese art and modern construction play, making it a sought-after piece for collectors and enthusiasts alike.

Conclusion

The Lego Art set “The Great Wave” stands as a testament to the enduring appeal of both Lego and Hokusai’s artistic legacy. With its detailed construction process, immersive soundtrack, and the opportunity to own a piece of iconic Japanese art, this Lego set has seamlessly blended the worlds of play and art into a captivating masterpiece.

Read more:

The Contemporary Mount Fuji Art Print Set by The Art of Zen
The Contemporary Mount Fuji Art Print Set by The Art of Zen

At the Art of Zen we have a wide selection of original Japanese art prints in the ukiyo-e and Japandi style. Some of our best selling work is Mount Fuji wall art and Japandi wall art.

Add some zen art to your space with some art from the Art of Zen shop.

Featured image of The Great Wave Lego Set by Lego.

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