Deemed a “Must-see Exhibition” by CNN, The Art of the Brick features an exclusive collection of sculptures by Nathan Sawaya – made out of nothing but the iconic plastic rectangles. This is the first time that the New-York based brick artist is showcasing his sculptures in Southeast Asia.

Hosted in the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands from Nov 17 to Apr 14 next year, the exhibition features 52 large-scale LEGO™ sculptures in a 15,000 square feet gallery space. The area is split into 8 distinctive and interactive galleries that display different themes across Sawaya’s various works.

Enter Introduction, the first of the galleries. Here, visitors are treated to 4 of the artist’s most renowned sculptures, such as Yellow and Swimmer. Made in human likeness, some the life-sized sculptures are made with more than 10,000 bricks in primary colours.

Arguably Sawaya’s best-known piece, Yellow represents the metamorphosis he has been through on his life journey.
It took 15 days for the artist to create Swimmer.

As Sawaya took UrbanWire on a tour of the exhibition on Nov 15, he explained the motivation behind various sculptures as well as some of the difficulties he faced while putting them together himself. The former lawyer shared that his self-portrait work Facemask required him to take “dozens of photos from all angles”, and took more than a month to complete.

An over-sized portrait of the artist.

While all the galleries were unique and thoroughly enjoyable, UrbanWire found The Emotion Box and The Art of Play especially memorable.

A curtain of cascading mist greets visitors entering The Emotion Box, giving the space an almost eerie feel. This dimly lit gallery houses reflective pieces by the brick artist, such as Mask – a sculpture that identifies the façade that humans put on to keep their true feelings hidden. Visitors will be taken on an introspective journey in a room that somewhat resembles an underground cave.

Though all the sculptures in the exhibition are visually appealing, Charice Chan, 19, a Visual Communication and Media Design student from Singapore Polytechnic, felt certain sculptures in The Emotion Box stole the show because of the unique shadows they cast under the lighting.

Mask – a sculpture about revealing our true selves.

Unlike the sombreness of The Emotion Box, The Art of Play was created specifically with children in mind. Although the ArtScience Museum isn’t home to the real skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, kids can look forward to a 6-meter long LEGO™ T-Rex skeleton at the exhibition. The faux dino is undoubtedly one of Sawaya’s largest and most complicated sculptures to date, and the artist took “an entire summer” to build it.

If you’re a touchy-feely person, visit The Art of the Brick activity space for a multi-sensory experience. In the gallery, visitors can try their hand at making their own sculptures with the multi-coloured LEGO™ bricks provided. They can also create and watch their own stop-motion film in the gallery’s workshop space at no additional charge.

Tired from all that walking? Those with aching feet can walk bare-foot over an ingenious LEGO™ reflexology path, constructed with bricks of various shapes and sizes. Can someone say “ouch”?

Sawaya and his fiancée, Courtney, take a walk on the reflexology path.

At the end of the exhibition, grab a souvenir at the gift shop, or bring home a piece (or brick) of your childhood with a LEGO™ set.

Take home a souvenir at the end of the exhibition.

If you’re an aspiring artist who feels too old for plastic toy bricks, fret not. Sawaya, who considers conceptual sculptor Tom Friedman one of his inspirations, tells UrbanWire that “Anything can be art”, and you can “create with whatever you have at home”.

Even if you’re not a LEGO™ fan, The Art of the Brick will excite your senses and bedazzle you with the creativity and complexity of each sculpture. Sawaya engages both the young and old with his art, and encourages them to explore their own creativity.

“The Art of the Brick gave me a brand new perspective on the uses of LEGO™ bricks. I enjoyed being wowed by the increasing sizes of his sculptures from start to finish,” said Natalie Ang, 19, a Mass Communication student in Ngee Ann Polytechnic.

Brick artist Nathan Sawaya and the specially-commissioned sculpture he made for the ArtScience Museum.
The sculpture is made out of 15,999 LEGO™ bricks, and is one of the artist’s more challenging pieces.

As Mr Nick Dixon, the executive director of the ArtScience Museum puts it, “We hope The Art of the Brick will inspire all our visitors to find the child in them at the exhibition.”

The Art of the Brick is open from 10am to 10pm daily, including weekends and public holidays. Last entry into the ArtScience Museum is at 9pm. Tickets start from $8 for children and $13 for adults, and can be purchased on the ArtScience Museum website.