Take a deep dive into the creations of Korean builder, Haru!
Do you lot like playing this game in the bath or something? Because it seems every time I dunk my head into the Minecraft oceans, I see another 549,661,921 million beautiful underwater builds. It's enough to make me gasp with delight! Then choke a lot. Don't gasp when your head's underwater.
Coming up for air, I spoke to Haru, the Korean builder behind the underwater wonder that is Pirios. A grand structure buried deep down in the heart of the ocean, home to dolphins, clownfish and even mermaids. Pirios protrudes through the sealife that has gradually come to outgrow it; columns and towers peeking out between the vegetation and fish. Even the poor whale is overgrown with seaweed!
“It was really easy to create the building that I imagined, because I’ve watched [a lot of] fantasy movies,” Haru tells me, when I ask about his oceanic odyssey. But he believes pulling off builds like this requires a lot of self-reflection too. “You need to create steady works and study your own style.”
Haru tells me that when he first got into Minecraft, he was awed by the other artists working with the game. “That inspired me to dive into artistic activities,” he says. Interacting with other artists inspired him to build, and then, he tells me, “I [was] proud when people liked my pieces.” Quite rightly, too!
Naturally, Haru pursued Minecraft as a medium for creating works of art. “Originally,” he explains, “I concentrated on oriental architecture,” but when it came to his latest build, Barmian, he had reached a limit with that and decided he wanted to try a new style.
“I was tired of making one genre of work, so I created a European building.” He says this presented the challenge he was looking for, and he’s keen to develop his skill in this style. “From now on, I will also make many more European buildings.”
That’s not to discredit his previous works, however, as each is a delicious treat for your eyeballs. There’s Crane Travel, with its depiction of, er, cranes travelling, and his Symphony Build, a monolithic structure with such a posh, regal atmosphere, my commoner peepers ain’t worthy of lookin’ at it, guvna.
“I pursue both splendour and simplicity,” Haru says, “so I use a simple design.” It’s this deliberately pared-down approach that impresses me most. Once he’s decided on an idea, he’ll just go for it, without all the second-guessing and self-doubt that made me rewrite this article about 549,661,921 times.
Haru's also ambitious and driven to improve. As he reflects on Pirios, he explains, “I think it was a structure that was lacking, because it was created when I first met architecture. I just wanted to give the feeling that many fish were hanging out.”
He continues, “I think there is no difficulty in making the build itself, but when the idea isn’t forthcoming anymore, I get a lot of stress. So, when I can’t remember my [original vision], I take a few days off.”
In light of this, I ask Haru what his go-to design process is like. “When I'm building a random thing, I just improvise,” he says.
“But if I want to make [something in a] fantasy style, I first use VoxelSniper and make the terrain. Then, I build things after I’ve finished decorating the surrounding environment.”
All in all, Barmian took just one week for Haru to make. And though he has lots of experience working as part of a team, and continues to do so, Haru enjoys taking on these massive constructions solo, too. “I’m a project leader in my Korean team,” he tells me. “I think having ideas from every member of the team, and [having their opinions reflected], is really meaningful. But I think it’s more convenient to work using my own style rather than with someone else.”
Right now, Haru is looking to a future filled with art and Minecraft. “I’m going to continue to pursue art activities in Minecraft, and so I’m working hard to get recognition from other Koreans. I actually had a meeting with painters in Korea.”
He explains that, while he believes there is a place for art within Minecraft, and Minecraft within art, “many Koreans think Minecraft is an immature game,” and don’t see its capacity for 3D art. This is something that frustrates Haru, as he’s got big dreams for what he wants to create in the future. “I am full of ideas about building a future city. It will challenge me to overcome my limitations and create an oriental piece of work that everyone [will be able to appreciate].
For his next build, Haru’s got a special trick or treat lined up. “Party of the Witches” is all he will say for now. Well, that, and that if you’re interested, you should haunt his PlanetMinecraft on October 31st. What horrible spookingtons will Haru conjure? Will it make me scream in fright? I dread to think, but I’m still looking forward to his next work of arRRRGGHH!
Ahem, sorry, his next work of art.
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