This giant Ruby-Throated Hummingbird magically hovers 8 feet in the air as it feeds out of giant flowers. The sculpture took my team and I over 4 weeks to design and 5 weeks to build with 31,565 LEGO pieces.
The number one question I get from kids is:
“How does he stay up???”
Answer: Tied to a satellite.
Many people are surprised to see that the trumpet flowers indeed have pistols and stamens. (My mantra, shamelessly stolen from Pixar, is to “sand the undersides of the desk drawers”… meaning that I need to add all the details, seen or unseen, so they’re there when you go looking for them.) I like knowing that my work will look great, from no matter what angle it’s viewed.
The sculpture took over 550 hours to design and build by my team and I. Each piece is glued one-by-one and a steel armature helps keep the sculpture sturdy in heavy winds. Building sculptures this tall presents a lot of unique physical challenges… Not only do you have to figure out what the sculpture will look like, and how you will build it, but ? How will you move it if it weighs hundreds of pounds? How will it fit out the door if it is too tall? How can you build 8 feet in the air if you aren’t 8 feet tall?
Jung Ah (above) spent over 160 hours doing design work on this sculpture.
The sculpture is so tall that we had to stand on stepladders to build it! (above)
We put a trolly on a table to both hold up the belly of the bird as well as keep our LEGO pieces handy while we were up there. (below)
The hummingbird wings are so tall and so wide that they would not fit through a standard door. So we redesigned the wings so they could be removed on steel pins and re-inserted after going through a doorway.
The entire sculpture was assembled in my New York City art studio, then custom-crated in museum-quality exhibition crates and has toured as the centerpiece of my award-winning exhibition Nature Connects .
This sculpture is part of my traveling exhibition, Animal Super Powers.