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Something new

Alexandre Huibonhoa

 

What do you consider the world's great symbol of peace? The olive branch? The white poppy? Flicking the "V" sign (palm outwards)? We're pretty sure a Lego model didn't spring to mind.

An exhibition running at Cityplaza, in Taikoo Shing, until the end of the month may well fire up your faith in bricks, however. "Piece of Peace" brings together Asia's first official Lego model master, Kazuyoshi Naoe, with four Hong Kong Lego builders who have created, among other works, replicas of the "seven wonders" such as the Panama Canal and San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. Using more than 500,000 Lego pieces, the exhibits also include models of Unesco World Heritage sites from 25 countries.

According to the project's founder, Lego nut Takeshi Kajihara, its aim is to encourage citizens of the world "to treasure mankind's precious cultural resources and live in a spirit of global harmony". "Piece of Peace" has toured Japan extensively since 2003, drawing more than 1.5 million viewers, but this is the first time it has ventured outside of that country.

Reconstructions of the Colosseum in Rome, the Great Wall of China and one of Egypt's Nubian Monuments - which, at seven feet, two inches tall, is a mere four inches shorter than Yao Ming - are among the models Kajihara has shipped over. Another key attraction, meanwhile - built by Hong Kong's Schneider Cheung, a diagnostic radiographer by day - is a giant panda.

"I decided to design this as a symbol for friendship and peace between countries," says Cheung. "As China has given pandas to countries as a sign of friendship, I wanted to send a message to the world about how we should all live in global harmony and love."

Perhaps Lego - which was invented in 1934 - really does have peace-advancing properties, then. After all, the word derives from the Danish " leg godt", meaning "play well", and children who do that tend not to fight. Easy does it, though: one block at a time.

For more information on "Piece of Peace", call 2568 8665, or visit www.cityplaza.com Admission is free.

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