27 March 2021
In a room full of Lego pieces, Hoang Dang carefully builds a bright blue, yellow and red fishing boat with a Vietnamese flag.
The industrial designer has loved Lego for as long as he can remember. But he only started collecting the objects seriously a few years ago on an overseas study trip to Detroit. He was interested in the many kinds of Lego sets available in the United States.
Hoang mainly recreates sights close to home in Vietnam. His Lego creations include his childhood home, a temple in Hanoi's Old Quarter and a 1990s living room during Lunar New Year. All of the designs are complex and have colorful details.
Hoang used the term perspective – a way of thinking or understanding something – to describe his interest in sharing his love of Lego.
"I want to bring my perspective to friends all over the world, because Vietnam's Lego building community is still little known regionally and globally," he said.
Hoang is halfway to his goal of building 10 large models for a public showing. He said it takes about five months to finish a 5,000-piece facade, or front of a building. But, he added, much of that time is spent finding the right pieces.
"I often spend a whole evening to look for just that one brick," he said.
Even with a collection of over two million Lego bricks, Hoang says he is always looking for new pieces. That's how he made what he calls his "Lego friends," including Khang Huynh in Ho Chi Minh City.
The two met on a Facebook group for Lego builders and collectors. The name "Lego" is short for "leg godt," which means "play well" in Danish.
Hoang said, "Building Lego helps us to recharge our creative energy after working on long and tiring projects." Hoang and Khang like to take pictures of what interests them on the street, then recreate the objects with bricks. For Khang, that includes street sights with complex builds like a Honda Cub motorcycle.
"I am drawn to the everyday things around me that are very familiar," said Khang. "I build anything that I feel is cute and dear to me."
I'm John Russell.
Minh Nguyen reported on this story for Reuters. John Russell adapted it for Learning English. Bryan Lynn was the editor.
Words in This Story
set – n. a group of similar things that belong together
temple – n. a building for worship
brick – n. a small, hard block that is used to build structures
recharge – v. to regain energy or spirit
familiar – adj. to know about something or have experienced it many times before
cute – adj. having a pleasing appearance
dear – adj. loved or valued very much