WEEKLY

BEGIN WITH A SMALL BRICK
一切從小小磚頭開始

在剛過去的香港動漫電玩節2017,LEGO以「Build Amazing Hong Kong」為主題進駐展覽會場,找來不少LEGO達人合力創作出6件「我最期待的香港大型盛事」展品,將天馬行空的構思結合香港實景,打造出創意無窮的作品,引起不少話題。事實上在LEGO積木的世界裡,只要你夠創意,用那些小小的磚塊的確就能砌出無限可能。放眼到世界,LEGO積木亦已經與藝術接軌,進入美術館及藝廊展覽,不再只是一項小玩意那麼簡單。今期Chessman Post就為大家介紹第一位把LEGO積木帶進藝術世界的人、LEGO藝術大師納善.沙瓦亞Nathan Sawaya。

沙瓦亞的《積木藝術》(The Art of the Brick)展覽具有開創性,奠定了LEGO積木作為藝術媒介的地位。《積木藝術》自2007年開幕以來,便在世界各大城市巡迴展覽,持續展出至今,並被CNN報導為「世界十大必看展覽」之一。走進他的《積木藝術》中,映入眼簾的盡是一些超現實的雕像,沒有五官、單調的人形,從箱子裡爬出來或從地板下冒出來。令人驚嘆的是,現場所有雕塑都不是使用慣常會用的石膏或黏土材料製成,而是使用2X4 LEGO標準長方形積木砌成的(在沙瓦亞的手腕上,也可找到一個相同尺寸的LEGO紋身!),並避免使用奇怪形狀或是不常見組件。在製作雕塑作品的時候,沙瓦亞會為每塊積木塗上膠水再裝嵌。如果發現出錯的話,就需要用上一把鎚子及鑿子修補拆除,情況如同雕琢石膏雕像一樣。

當初沙瓦亞以LEGO積木去創作雕塑,純屬源於他的突發其想。早年,沙瓦亞還是一名企業律師,經歷冗長的工作回到家,他就投入於他的藝術興趣中——畫畫、雕塑。有天他腦海中突然出現一個靈感,可否用LEGO積木這兒時玩物去創作大型藝術品?初試啼聲,他為親朋戚友製作較小型的LEGO作品,替作品拍照,然後放到個人網頁上。自始各式各樣的要求接踵而來,這段時間他曾製作過包括單車、快艇、布魯克林大橋等等中小型作品,並獲得不俗迴響。於是他毅然放棄高薪厚職,全情投入LEGO藝術創作。他紐約及洛杉磯的工作室就擁有超過四百萬塊LEGO積木。「我喜歡用LEGO積木創作,因為它使觀眾和我的作品產生某種關連。大多數人家中都沒有石膏或大理石,但他們某程度上都玩過LEGO積木。他們對這種玩具特別有親切感,也會對LEGO可以做成這樣子感到驚奇。我最享受觀眾看到我的作品時的驚喜表情。」沙瓦亞喜愛用LEGO積木創作雕塑的另一原因是觀賞時視角的不同會出現奇妙的效果。當近距離觀看雕塑時,積木的形狀清晰可見,作品表面的直角尤為分明。但當你遠距離觀賞,就會形成一種錯覺,彷彿所有直角都變成弧形。

在沙瓦亞的LEGO展覽當中,不得不提到那個旨在探討人類情感的LEGO雕塑系列《Human Condition》。作品中所表達的情感大多數都是沙瓦亞所經歷過的,他把強烈情感融入他的雕塑創作中,藉着作品抒情,同時訴說自己的人生經歷。系列中最標誌性的LEGO雕塑,是一件名為《Yellow》的雕塑。這個黃色的半身人形頭仰天,徒手把自己的胸膛撕開,成千上萬塊的黃色積木從胸腔裡面湧出。《Yellow》所表達的正正是沙瓦亞處於人生交叉點那段時期、百感交集的心情,渴望放下偽裝,向世界吶喊,以表露最真實的自己。沙瓦亞有一個較為暗黑的LEGO雕塑系列《Through the darkness》,其中一件作品《My Boy》引起觀眾極強烈的感受,印證了法國著名印象派畫家、雕塑家Edgar Degas的名言 「你看見的並不是藝術,你讓其他人看見的才是。」 站在《My Boy》雕塑面前,只見一個藍色的人形雙膝跪地,手中抱着一個身軀瘦小、已奔天國的灰色小孩形體,仰天長嘆。不少觀眾看見此情此景都悲從中來,甚至有些失去孩子的父母特地聯絡沙瓦亞,希望他可以為小男孩立下一個墓碑或準備一副靈柩。沙瓦亞希望透過作品《My Boy》,重新連結人們,提醒他們去緬懷。說到這裡,你應該也多多少少感受到沙瓦亞的LEGO藝術情感表達之強烈程度了吧。

作為世界上第一位LEGO藝術家,沙瓦亞對LEGO藝術的未來充滿希望。「很多藝術家認為所有藝術都只是暫時性,都有一個時限。但我就覺得LEGO藝術跟其他藝術不同,因為LEGO積木本身的設計構造就是可以不斷在被解體的過程中,不斷地捲土重來。我相信LEGO藝術亦然。」LEGO跟藝術之完美契合,或許是因為LEGO與藝術世界的本質一樣,都是無限的。在藝術的世界裡,只要你夠創意,就能激發出藝術世界中蘊藏的無盡可能。

撰文:鍾璐詩
相片:網上圖片
美術:王曉澄

In the Animation, Comics & Games Hong Kong 2017 this year, LEGO exhibited in the theme of “Build Amazing Hong Kong”. A number of LEGO experts joined forces to create six exhibits on the topic of “The Most Anticipating Events in Hong Kong”. Their LEGO works, which is the combination between creative ideas and Hong Kong real scenes, have become a talking point. In the world of LEGO, there are unlimited possibilities to create works out of these little bricks if you are creative enough. LEGO bricks are something more than playthings. In fact, they have already been collaborated with art and exhibited in art museums and galleries nowadays. That’s why we would like to introduce Nathan Sawaya, the first person to bring LEGO bricks into the world of art and the first LEGO artist in the world in this issue of Chessman Post.

The exhibition “The Art of the Brick” by Sawaya is groundbreaking in the way that LEGO brick have been established as an art medium. Since 2007, “The Art of the Brick” has been exhibiting in major cities around the world and recognized by CNN as one of the “Top 10 Must-See Exhibitions in the World”. Walking into “The Art of the Brick”, we can see a lot of hyper realistic sculptures in which faceless human figures are coming out from the box or underground. It’s surprising to find out that all sculptures in the exhibition are made out of 2X4 standard rectangular LEGO bricks instead of usual materials such as plaster or clay. (A LEGO tattoo of the same size could be found on Sawaya’s wrist!) At the same time, Sawaya avoids using LEGO components of strange shapes or uncommon one. When Sawaya was working on a sculpture, he put a little bit of glue on each LEGO brick before assembling them. If something has gone wrong, hammer and chisel will be needed for repair or demolition, just like what people do when they sculpt out of plaster.

The idea of sculpting out of LEGO bricks came to Sawaya in a flash of inspiration. Sawaya was a corporate lawyer before. After a long day of work, he came home for painting and sculpting. One day he had an inspiration and wonder if he could create large-scale art out of just LEGO bricks which were his childhood toys. At the experimental stage, Sawaya made some small-scale LEGO works for his relatives and friends, taking photos for his works and uploading them to his personal website. From then on, he received a lot of requests from people and built some small-to-medium-sized works such as a bicycle, a speedboat and the Brooklyn Bridge, receiving positive feedbacks at the same time. Firmly left his career as a lawyer, Sawaya has started creating LEGO art with all his heart. He has more than 4 million LEGO bricks in his New York and Los Angeles studios. “I like creating sculptures out of LEGO bricks because they are able to build a connection between my works and the audiences. Most people does not have plaster or marble at home. However, to a certain extent, they must have played LEGO bricks before. I enjoy seeing people’s reaction of amazement to my artwork created from something with which they are familiar.” Another reason that drew Sawaya to the LEGO bricks is that different viewing perspectives can lead to something magical. Up close, the shape of the bricks and the right angles are distinctive. But from a distance, an illusion is formed in which those right angles change to curves.

In Sawaya’s “The Art of the Brick”, the “Human Condition” series which aims at exploring human emotions is worth mentioning. He put his strong emotions that he has once experienced into his works. Through the sculptures, he wants to express his emotions and tell others about his life experiences. The most iconic sculpture in the series titled “Yellow” features a torso of a human figure, with its head looking up, who is tearing its chest open while thousands of yellow bricks spilling out of the its chest cavity,. Through “Yellow”, Sawaya wants to express his mixed emotions during the intersection of his life. He wants to open himself up to the world and drop his mask to show the world his true self. Another LEGO sculpture series of Sawaya titled “Through the darkness” has a much darker theme. One of the pieces titled “My Boy” evokes the audiences with extremely strong emotions, reaffirming the famous quote “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see” by Edgar Degas, a famous French impressionist artist and sculptor. “My Boy” features a blue human figure who is kneeling on the ground and sighing deeply while a grey child figure who has a delicate body is found dead in his arms. There are audiences crying in front of it. Even more, some moms and dads who lost a child reach out to Sawaya to request a commission of a headstone or coffin for the little boy. Through the sculpture “My Boy”, Sawaya helps people reconnect in some way, to remember. You can more or less feel the strong emotion being expressed in Sawaya’s LEGO art just by these two examples.

As the first LEGO artist in the world, Sawaya thinks that the future of LEGO art is full of hope. “Many artists think that all art is temporary. But there’s something different about LEGO art because of the way LEGO bricks are designed to fall apart and reassemble. I believe it’s the same case for LEGO art. ” Maybe the perfect combination between LEGO bricks and art is due to the fact that they both have the same nature of being infinite. In the world of art, there are also unlimited possibilities if you are creative enough.

Written by: Rose Chung
Photo: Internet
Art: Agnes Wong

ISSUE #152

BEGIN WITH A SMALL BRICK

 

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