Even 60 years after its first appearance on the silver screen, Godzilla is still drumming up a lot of attention as the media build-up for its May (unless you live in China or Japan) release continues. Caught up in the frenzy is Li Yi-Kai and his remarkably detailed renderings of Godzilla and King Ghidorah. I say “remarkably” because all of his works are done in the medium of dead foliage that he picks up off the ground.
Yi-Kai is a student at Taiwan’s Nanhua University and part of the Institute of Environmental Art and Design. While walking around the campus one day studying the campus’ greenery for a project, Yi-Kai got the idea to make a dragon out of some of the debris that fell from the trees above.
From that came Godzilla. It’s one thing to make a giant lizard monster out of some leaves, but it’s truly amazing to see how well these materials seem to suit the texture of Godzilla’s skin and scutes.
Yi-Kai says that these works were done using only plants found around campus and are actually “pretty easy to make.” He also says that it just takes some scissors and leaves, but according to some of his Facebook photos there seems to be a little more involved such as mechs and ping pong balls.
By the way, that other figure is none other than Gozilla’s three-headed rival King Ghidorah apparently under development. Here is the finished (?) work that also has a surprisingly vivid texture.
Whether it was intentional or simple serendipity on the part of Li Yi-Kai, his beautiful organic monsters have been posted to several Godzilla fansites around the world recently and earned him a flood of attention on Facebook. Taiwanese media is also reporting that one of the people who clicked like was former Godzilla producer and Toho Co. president Shogo Tomiyama.
Yi-Kai, who states that “although they’re waste for everyone, fallen leaves are my treasures,” uses these works as more than demonstrations of his creativity. He feels there’s an environmental message in them as well. “Godzilla is a symbol of the horror of nuclear power. It makes everyone take an interest in such issues,” he wrote. “It’s the greatest accomplishment of Godzilla in the world.”
[ Read in Japanese ]