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Lego’s New 1,810-Piece Set Lets You Recreate a Famed Work by Japanese Artist Katsushika Hokusai

The three-dimensional recreation of the artist's Under The Great Wave off Kanagawa comes with its own soundtrack.

Hokusai – The Great Wave by Lego Courtesy of Lego

Are you ready to create a Lego masterpiece? The toymakers’s latest set wants you to do just that.

Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai created his famed woodprint series dubbed “Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji” from 1830 to 1832. Its most celebrated piece, Under The Great Wave off Kanagawa (circa 1831), sold just last year for $1.6 million at Christie’s. Lego is now gearing up to offer a brick version of the work that you can build and display in your home, too.

Lego’s “The Great Wave” building set includes 1,810 pieces that colorfully reimagine Hokusai’s work as three-dimensional wall art. The artist’s original creation is a woodblock print donning ink and subtle shades of beige, white and blue. Its toy doppelganger turns up the vibrancy a notch with more saturated colors and its signature toy brick texture. Six canvas plates, two hanger elements, a brick separator and a decorative tile with Hokusai’s signature make up the package. Once complete, the 20 x 15-inch result can be hung on a wall or set on a shelf next to your favorite books. Your first Toy Pointillist piece.

A front-facing view of the completed Great Wave build by Lego
A front-facing view of the completed Great Wave build by Lego. Courtesy of Lego

The set comes with illustrated instructions that guide you through the building process and provide more details about Hokusai’s works. You’ll also find a QR code on the box that takes you to soundtrack tailor-made by Lego to help you relax as you build the set—or gaze upon it afterwards.

Hokusai’s original work features fishermen in three boats with a towering wave about to crash down on them. The same is true for the Lego version. The pieces feature a blue base topped with white detailing that mirrors the calm yet “bracing for impact” faces of the originals.

Hokusai was over 70 years old when he created Under The Great Wave, and one BBC documentary suggests that piece could have represented his personal life after his grandson reportedly gambled away all his money. The piece may also have socio-historical implications, as some believe it symbolizes Japanese society at the time, according the Widewalls. No matter the interpretation, Lego had one goal for creating the toy artwork: to give adults their own chance indulge in “creative joy.” Legos, its appears, aren’t just for kids.

You can buy “The Great Wave” building set on Lego.com for $100, starting January 1.

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