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My personal favorite piece- “Castle

Finally got a chance to see the internationally known Brick Artist– Nathan Sawaya‘s creation made of the good old plastic toy Lego. Catching it on the last day at Forest LawnGlendale, CA. 

The location of the exhibit is at a cemetery and memorial service center, making it such an interesting contrast. It is a place to cry, to mourn, and to deal with indescribable heartaches; yet, just like how ironic life gets here and there, it is also a place to see some bright and colorful artwork.

Driving along the curvy path, I breathed in a mixture of the scent of soil, lawn and tears. Strangely calming and soothing. Thinking how much I like the “inlay” style of gravestones compared to the one that stand vertical because it makes the already spacious environment look even more spacious. But then I also thought, it’d probably be challenging for an ADD like me, here being Absolute Direction Deficit. It’d take me hours and hours to find my way home if I “live” here when I die. And then that’s probably how haunting would start, by me knocking at the living neighbors’ door trying to ask if I could use their wifi to connect my GPS. Sorry, a detour to my story here.

Image found on www.doocab.com

Image found on http://www.doocab.com

Finally the sight of the Museum pulled me out of my random thoughts. Still find it a bit out of place, am I going to see Lego art, ghosts playing with Lego, or the Lego ghost?

No photography is allowed inside the exhibit so all images I’m posting here are from different sources online. I have no intention to get anyone upset here so if you happen to be one of the owners of certain images that you do not want me to use, please let me know and I’ll pull it off right away.

Image found on http://widelec.org/zdjecie,lego-by-nathan-sawaya,3189.html

Yellow“. Image found on http://widelec.org/

The poster piece, Yellow, definitely made it onto the poster for some obvious reasons. It is bold, loud, and powerful. Again it’s the contrast that always makes things interesting. I couldn’t shake the fact that this piece is made of mass manufactured plastic blocks from the factory, but having such a raw and organic form. Many of Sawaya’s pieces are figurative and suggest the idea of transformation, change, and evolvement.

Image found on www.brothers-brick.com

Green“, by Nathan Sawaya. Image found on http://www.brothers-brick.com

And you don’t need me to show you all the amazing images here on my silly blog. If you admire Sawaya’s work like I do, I’m sure Google the god will be happy to show you everything.

Born in Washington, raised in Oregon, Sawaya’s background might not be anything dramatic. What I found fascinating, however, is that the well-known New York based artist was once a corporate lawyer! I have no idea what kind of cases he specialized in, but I wonder if playing with Lego served as an outlet for him for the stress of having to deal with human drama everyday at work. “The hotter the heat, the harder the steel. No pressure, no diamonds.” Hey, the unknown quote is packed with wisdom.

Hear him talk about his art!
“It was really the day my website crashed with too many hits, that I realized *lightbulb nod* it’s time to leave the law and go play with bricks all day.”

I agree with him that many people connect to his art because it is a familiar material that almost everyone has played (or in his case, is still playing) with, but instead of following the instructions and build what’s on the box’s cover, it is filled with emotions and personal stories. He hopes to inspire people to believe that everyone can express themselves by just going home and making some art.

My concern is how to get kids of this technology-addicted generation to once again appreciate and enjoy the simple but wonderful toys like Lego! Seriously, the definition of “fun” has shifted quite a bit.

I particularly enjoy this piece called “Castle“. A huge pop-up book of a boat and a castle, with a beautiful poem printed along the sides.

“This is a poem
About a girl in a boat,
Who kept sailing around
The confines of a moat.
The moat went around
A very big palace
Inside lived a prince,
And his maid Alice.
The prince had no problems.
His life was pure pleasure.
But his love for that girl,
He could not measure.
And the girl loved him back.
Their love had been bound.
But she still sailed on her boat.
Around and around.
She didn’t dare stop
For around the moat’s edge
Were sharp jagged rocks
Where her boat could not wedge.
The prince watched her each day,
And watched her each night.
They’d talk all the time.
But it just wasn’t right.
He begged her to jump.
And leave the boat far below.
But she kept sailing around,
Not ready to go.
“I’ll catch you,” he promised.
There will be no harm.”
And she wanted to go
And live in his arms.
But the boat seemed so safe.
And the jump seemed so big.
She could not just leave,
And abandon her rig.
“Finally,” the prince said,
As he jumped on her boat.
“If you won’t come to me,
Then I’ll sail on the moat!”
And they sailed on her boat,
Just watching the palace.
But they could not go back,
‘Cuz it was now owned by Alice.
The moral of the story,
If you must know:
If you stay where you are,
Then you may never go.
So if one would jump,
And prepare for the hassle,
One day they will find,
They can live in the castle.”

You may have been told a million times in a million ways at this point of life already- how exciting things happen only outside of your comfort zone, yet how many of us have actually gathered enough courage to “jump”? I’m not so sure whether I am the he who lives in the castle or the she who sails on the boat. Doesn’t matter, I’m gonna jump regardless. Since when we all forgot how fearless we once were as kids? So if I fall, I’d be grateful that my papa tossed me away from his arms into the ocean when I was 4 and I somehow managed to stay alive.

And that’s how I know, I’ll be just fine, and so will you.

Saaaaalute! To Mr. Nathan Sawaya and to all jumpers out there.

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