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This Malaysian Is The First Person Outside Japan To Collaborate With Nanoblock Founders!

Cooler than your LEGO set ;)

Cover image via Chris Tan

This is Christopher Tan from Malaysia, and he is an internationally acclaimed nanoblock artist

Image via Christopher Tan

Chris started his hobby five years ago, and documented his experience on his Facebook page. Fast forward five years to the present, he quit his job as a software engineer and is pursuing a career in building and designing nanoblocks.

Since his Facebook page launched in 2011, he now has 51,000 fans worldwide.

What even are nanoblocks?

Image via diablock.co.jp

Think your old-school lego set, but way waaaay tinier. These building blocks can be as small as 4x4mm! Why make it so small? For one, more parts equates to more detail in shape and colour. It's also super cute and barely fits the size of your palm.

This Japanese toy by Kawada Co Ltd. is surprisingly popular among adults and many love to use it as a decorative item. You would think that it is hard to assemble, but step-by-step instructions and the double-ridged backing system on the bricks allows for accuracy.

Simple sculptures can be as small as a 50sen coin!

This petrol station is only 4cm x 4cm x 3.5cm

Image via Christopher Tan

So what's a person like Chris doing with a bunch of tiny bricks and cute sculptures when he had a well-paying job in the tech world?

Chris at the Hong Kong nanoblock exhibition

Image via chrisnanoblock.tumblr.com

While security is one thing to happiness, it takes a lot of guts to do something you really believe in, even if that is going into something so niche as nanoblock making.

“The fan base I have and the interest from corporate clients gave me the confidence to take the leap,” said Chris in an interview. “One definitely needs to have a lot of patience and persistence in order to attempt something like this.”

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It's not as easy as it looks, having to make a tiny sculpture out of tiny bricks takes a decent amount of patience, time and sanity

This deluxe size Wall-E took Chris 3 days to complete, 5 rebuilds for the head alone, and half a dozen different prototypes for the tracks and hands to meet his standard. Lets just say Chris is one heck of a perfectionist. But it all paid off!

Image via Chris Tan

Imagine having to make a life-sized sculpture! Probably not suitable for people who can't sit still.

This is what it look like mid-building

Image via Christopher Tan

Working hard for one of his exhibitions

Image via Christopher Tan

This nanoblock expert has time and time again wowed the public with his artwork beyond the waters of Malaysia at his exibitions

Watch the video below for his latest exhibition in Hong Kong, featuring the layout of Rio De Jenario, which was the largest nanoblock creation. The 3mx3m sculpture took 5 days and 250,000 bricks!

His Singapore debut was also another success, I mean, look at that BB8!

Image via deijiki.com
Image via Dejiki.com
Image via Dejiki.com

But of course, he has made many appearances to entertain his audience in Malaysia

His latest showcase the 2015 AniManGaki, one of Malaysia's Largest Annual ACG (Anime, Comics and Games) Event was a hit.

Image via vimeo.com
Image via inanoblock.com

There have been a few pretty cool partnerships along the way, which led to the creation of iconic designs like these two here:

Seriously, is there nothing he cannot build?!

Image via Christopher Tan
Image via Christopher Tan

Replica of the Colt M1911

Image via Christopher Tan
Image via Christopher Tan

His expertise had impressed the makers of nanoblock so much that they decided for the first time, to work with an independent artist outside of Japan

Image via Chris Tan

Working closely with the nanoblock company Kawada, he released four cute Japanese food items namely - Sushi, Ramen, Sushi and Temaki.

They are available now in Malaysia at Kinokuniya, Aeon, Toys R Us, Hamleys, Popular, Isetan and other stockists, and retail at RM39.90 each.

Image via Christopher Tan

“I think the path I took is similar to what other artists face, except that what I do is still not widely recognised as art. A lot of people out there look at building blocks and they immediately think of it as a toy for kids. I am working hard to change that perception,” says Chris

Following Chris' progress is easy, you'll be able to find him via one of his accounts:

Facebook, Youtube, Website, Instagram

You can even buy his work at his online store!

Here's another toy to satisfy the inner-child in you

There's a reason why Disney's characters are inspiration to many artists