BrickCon, held in Seattle, is an annual four-day convention for adult Lego builders from around the world. Altogether, 13,203 people saw the replica of the Tiger’s Nest. The artwork also won “People’s Choice Brickcon 2014”. Unlike her last year’s smaller version, this is a bigger and more complete.
According to Anuradha, Lego was not easily available in India. Around age eight, she was gifted a lego set that she built over and over again in different ways.
“There were so many ideas running through my head but I didn’t have the option of going out and buying more bricks, so every time I sat down to build I would take just the only available set and manage to build something new, something different. This was not just a toy for me, it was a way to express my ideas,” Anuradha tells as she recalls her childhood.
In 2001, she moved to Seattle, where happenstance brought her to rekindle her love for Lego. She saw that Lego was being used as a medium of art and adults built some amazing things with it. “I found out about the local Lego clubs and about the varies Lego conventions. I’ve been building and displaying my work since then. I have not had any formal training in this art, everything comes from within, I believe it is the grace from the God and Guru.”
A surprise to many, she is not an architect but architecture is one of her favorite subjects. She likes to design and build interesting buildings and structures.
In a response to what really inspired her to replicate the Tiger’s Nest, Anuradha explains that when she was haunting for pictures of buildings and structures from different parts of the world, she came across a picture of the Tiger’s Nest, and was completely in awe.
She elaborates, “The buildings were so beautiful, built in harmony with the surrounding nature. The wood carving work also impressed me. I read somewhere that in 1998 a fire destroyed some parts of the buildings and they were rebuilt as close to the original with the help of photographs. The thought that people put in so much effort to build something so high up in the mountains, without disturbing the beauty of the place left me speechless, I can’t even imagine how they had originally managed this is 1692. I instantly wanted to build a replica in Lego.”
As of now, she has neither contacted any Bhutanese authority to let them know about this replica nor any Bhutanese have come in her contact. She got inspired and self-funded the artwork.
She started building work on this in January 2013. Initially, she really didn’t think it would be possible to actually build this in Lego, but she wanted to give a try. She bought most of the Lego in bulk from Lego store and online retailers.
“I started with the smallest building and built the windows to establish scale. Went on to the next building and then kept building from there. The rock-work or mountains and the windows of the buildings were the most difficult to do. I think I’ve worked on this project for a total of eleven months since January 2013, some days just an hour and some days fourteen to fifteen hours.”
The Tiger’s Nest is currently stored in boxes, the artist wraps up, ”I would like to find a place for longterm display.”
(All pictures used are courtesy of the artist featured in the story, while video is credited to Nicolas Teeuwen, NT Media.)