Our junior reporters visited the Lego X'mas Village at Times Square, Causeway Bay, which is helping to mark the 80th anniversary of Lego, and spoke to the masterminds behind the exhibition.
Lego builders Andy Hung (above right) and Schneider Chung discuss their love of Lego. Photo: Gareth Pang/SCMP
Both Andy Hung and Schneider Chung played with Lego when they were young. But the classic Danish toy, featuring clip-together plastic bricks, was a luxury for them at the time. Now they can afford it, they have been able to expand their collections and pursue their childhood dreams.
The two Lego fans met each other on an internet forum and started to build exhibitions together. The Lego X'mas Village, based on Hung and Chung's design, features 11 thematic houses built to a scale of 20 times larger than original models, at Times Square. More than one million Lego bricks were used to create this exhibition.
Jocelyn Chan and Jason Ng
Schneider Chung shows his work to (from left) Jason Ng, Tiffany Ng, Jack Sze, Jocelyn Chan and Winnie Lee. Photo: Gareth Pang/SCMP
The duo started out by buying individual Lego sets and then came up with new designs through mixing and matching pieces.
Chung, just back from a Japanese Lego convention, says: "It is the infinite possibility of Lego that fascinates me. Once you've finished a design, the next day you may find another way to improve it."
Lego makers may have to alter a design and work around problems while building. "There are no dark orange Lego bricks, so I used the brown colour in this piece instead," says Chung, pointing at a Lego croissant in a model of a bakery.
When asked whether they ever argue over designs, Chung says: "That rarely happens as there is always a solution with Lego."
Winnie Lee and Natalie Fung
Photo: Times Square
Building a design brick-by-brick can be a time-consuming process, and there are also trade-offs in pursuing the hobby.
Chung, a diagnostic radiographer, says: "Basically, I'm either at work or doing Lego. I can spend up to four or five hours a day on it."
Hung, who works in finance, recalls preparing for the Animation-Comic-Game Hong Kong fair. "To have your work on show, you have to meet a deadline," he says. "So I had to work overnight for a few days in my studio to make sure I finished on time."
He believes facing such a deadline helps to encourage creativity. "Participating in exhibitions tests a builder's imagination and speed to make things happen," he says.
Hung's next plan is to base his work on examples of local heritage and raise public awareness of preserving them.