Bryks Art, collective enterprise of M’sian artists making “Lego” sculptures

The legos. They have stood the test of time and remain a cult toy for children and adults alike thanks to the many constructions that can be created using the millions of bricks produced by the company.

You can build based on the instructions that come in the box – which, dare I say, is the prerequisite for building IKEA furniture later – or let your creativity run free.

After watching several documentaries about Legoland and behind the scenes working for the company, I dreamed of being a Lego artist. However, it was never a dream I took seriously.

Unlike me, it seems that the team behind Bryk Art did. These Malaysians build huge brick sculptures to display in places like IOI City Mall, and even involve the public in their creative projects.

behind the building

Like most brick lovers, the team behind Bryks Art has boxes and boxes of bricks.

“If we like toys, we keep them on display. Once we get tired of the toys we’ve built, we take them apart and try to come up with new ideas,” shared the team, who told Vulcan Post that they would prefer to remain anonymous.

Image Credit: Bryks Art

The inspiration to found Bryks Art in 2018 actually came from their children.

Millennials and Gen Z are digital natives who spend too much time on their devices, Gen Xers realized.

Bryks Art was founded with the goal of reintroducing other forms of play, such as bricks, to their children. On a larger scale, Bryks Art’s goal is to inspire the public to challenge their creativity through brick sculptures.

Life-size Pokémon, cars and more

Image Credit: Vulcan Post

While visiting the IOI City Mall Phase 2 launch, we came across displays of Pokemon Lego sculptures. Children and parents were also gathered around small tables, apparently building something with the bricks.

This was just the beginning of our discovery of Bryks Art.

Image Credit: Bryks Art

Descending to the ground floor, we were impressed by a life-size Myvi sculpture built from these bricks, complete with headlights that lit up and front doors that could be opened.

The team calls the car sculptures MyBi, and there were several small Myvi riffs in the same space. They included a MyBi Tractor, a MyBi Monster Truck, and one that looked like it was converted into Transformers’ Bumblebee.

Image Credit: Vulcan Post

Those kids who used to play with bricks at the interactive tables earlier? We later discovered that they were actually part of something bigger; it is what the team imagines to be the largest brick mural in Malaysia in commemoration of Merdeka and Malaysia Day.

Part of the mural / Image credit: Bryks Art

“The beauty is that we didn’t complete this on our own, 95% of this was put together by Malaysians as well as overseas visitors,” the team shared. “The Malays were involved in creating the largest brick wall mural, that’s what makes our art special.”

The large brick mural for Merdeka and Malaysia Day 2022 / Image credit: Bryks Art

No labels, no rules

Talking to the team that was there, we discovered that the bricks used for the sculptures were not original Lego bricks. Instead, they are outsourced to a trusted third-party provider.

So you won’t find the “Lego” prints on the bricks if you look closely.

Image Credit: Bryks Art

“Lego is a brand, the most famous brand of bricks, and there are rules about how you can use Legos,” the team explained for the reason for not using originals. “For us to build the unimaginable, we cannot be bound by rules, hence the use of non-Lego bricks.”

Arguably, it’s also more profitable for the team to use off-brand parts for their sculpts.

Image Credit: Bryks Art

Interestingly, Bryks Art does not sell these bricks under their brand. When asked about monetization, the team explained that it is primarily based on customer commissions.

“We introduced ourselves to the world by exposing our brick sculptures to the public and building a fan base,” they shared.

“Fortunately for us, not only did the public take notice of our capabilities, but also the companies, many of whom asked if they could commission us to build for them.”

A dedicated team of 50 men

The Bryks Art team consists of 50 full-time professionals who are responsible for designing, engineering and constructing brick sculptures.

When it comes to bringing an idea to life, Bryks Art shared that the team meets to brainstorm their ideas on a weekly basis.

Image Credit: Bryks Art

They then shortlist the ideas, select what to build, and begin their building process.

This is where designers will put an idea into a drawing, engineers will ensure the structural integrity of builds, and builders will put the sculpture together.

The last part of the project where the bricks are put together brick by brick can take up to a week to two months, and the latter was the case for the full-size Myvi structure.

Construction of a gallery

It has been almost five years since Bryks Art was launched. So far, the team shared that not much has changed in the company’s operations.

The ultimate goal of the Bryks Art team is to build their own Bryks Art Gallery which will most likely be located in the Klang Valley by 2023.

They imagine their space to have a Bryks library where members who subscribe will have access to an endless amount of brick elements to build whatever they want.

“We want to build a community of builders, regardless of age, experience and skill level,” the team said of its goal. “Ultimately, we would include amazing builds in the gallery to showcase our community.”

Fans who built their own mini MyBis / Image credit: Bryks Art

For members who do not want their builds displayed in the Gallery, they can choose to store them in their personal lockers that are provided in the space, or dismantle their builds.

Looking at Bryks Art’s business model, it seems that the intention of growing this business is to foster existing and new communities of Lego enthusiasts.

While off-brand brick sales can be an additional source of revenue for the company, it’s obvious the founders have their eyes set on brick art as a whole, underpinned by the gallery they create.

Since they also claim to have found companies willing to pay for their work, what Bryks Art is doing in Malaysia seems valid.

  • Learn more about Bryks Art here.
  • Check out other Malaysian startups here.

Featured Image Credit: Bryks Art