Artist of the Week: ThirdWorldLego (Robert Panga)
Originally from Manila, Philippines but now living in Sydney, Australia, brickly artist ThirdWorldLego (real name Robert Panga) creates colorful, joyous scenes on a tiny scale. An AFOL since 2011, Panga was first drawn back into bricks by his interest in LEGO comics. This eventually snowballed into his work with 8x8 vignette builds, the major focus of his body of work since.
In his own words, Panga chooses to work with 8x8 vignettes to "maximize the focus on the scene," which he achieves brilliantly. Using saturated colors, expressive minifigs, and clever scene-setting, he is able to imbue such a strong sense of narrative and emotion into such simple builds. It's this strong direction that he takes with each piece that makes his work so unpredictable and fun to explore.
An artist who's lived in two strikingly different places, Panga also draws a great amount of inspiration from scenes in his everyday life. This is quite evident in his more literal creations such as Carinderya, which depicts a local Filipino "turo-turo" or neighborhood eatery.
Even with his more other-worldly creations, Panga maintains a similar style and aesthetic. He approaches every scene empathetically and with narrative at the forefront, making it possible to travel from local restaurant scenes to the Arctic, space, and beyond without blinking an eye.
Looking to the future, Panga has plans to experiment with more modular builds as well as more SNOT (stud not on top) techniques. He also hopes to become a more active member of the worldwide LEGO community, making connections to fellow builders from whom he can draw inspiration.
"I get inspired by my fellow LEGO artists, with their new and innovative ways to build... I hope that people would talk to me more, share their thoughts about my work so I can improve more," Panga told us.
To see more from ThirdWorldLego AKA Robert Panga, check out his profile on brickly with username @thirdworldlego and follow him today!