Book covers drawn by artist Jian Guo.
Part of a competition held by the publisher of the new Chinese text, the beautiful, monochromatic illustrations draw on many of the design elements of Tolkien’s original paintings for the trilogy’s covers, elaborating on the iconic ring and towers with intricate Asian lines and flourishes.
The artist, an architectural student, describes his style as “glass painting style,” which he uses for its “sense of religious magnificence.” Interestingly, before seeing Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings adaptation in 2002, he had never heard of the books. (Previous Chinese translations of the books feature rather unimaginative covers with images from Jackson’s movies.) The films converted him into an avid reader of Tolkien.
This is an ink painting by Chinese artist Fu Baoshi (1904–1965) showing a scholar artist in his studio. Fu Baoshi was a scholar painter and art historian. He studied Western and Japanese art in Tokyo where he developed his own style based on a fusion of Western realism and traditional brushwork. His work expressed a personal taste for subjects drawn from Chinese poets of the past.
Image © Fu Baoshi estate
People packed on train platforms and congregated in public spaces – these images that are so familiar to the city dweller are the inspiration behind Lu Chao’s surreal oil paintings. The artist references the detailed, expressive brushstrokes of classical Chinese painting, applied to a contemporary subject matter, to provide an honest reflection of his personal experiences with living in some of the world’s most populated cities.
Found on Hi-Fructose
Thierry Bornier has spent two years creating stunning photographs that make the rice terraces look more like abstract paintings than landscapes.
Chinese-born, London-based artist Jacky Tsai brings his fashion-world experience to his interdisciplinary art projects, which often fuse illustration, printmaking, sewing and sculpture. Tsai says that he is fueled by his contrasting experiences living in both Eastern and Western cultures. With his skull sculptures (or “Skullptures” as Tsai refers to them) and illustrations, the artist combines the morbid with the ornate. These symbols of death and decay become the sites of regeneration as flowers blossom on the skulls like moss — a juxtaposition Tsai uses as an antidote to his native culture’s superstitions about death. Tsai’s most iconic motif, his flower skull image was made famous when he designed a textile pattern for fashion designer Alexander McQueen’s spring/summer 2008 menswear collection. While the drawings and Skullptures are typically small-scale, Tsai recently created a 1.6-meter-long sculpture of a skull, which he embellished with individually-sewn leather flowers. After his work with McQueen, Tsai started his own eponymous luxury fashion line, Jacky Tsai, in 2011 and continues to create sculptures, installations and 2D work.
Female Leadership, lacquer carving. Celebrated for his pop art aesthetic, Tsai’s series titled ‘The Harmonious Society’ (a tribute to Former Chinese President Hu Jintao’s socio-economic vision for his country, where stability and social cohesion were the focus above all else) has been hand-crafted across 11 unique tableaux. It sees popular comic book characters inserted into famous Chinese tales and magical scenes to highlight the vast cultural differences between East and West. To complete each work, Tsai used the ‘lacquer carving’ technique which dates back some 3,000 years. After meticulously engraving each scene, he then coats the wood in dozens of layers of natural lacquer to lock in the colour and bring out the vibrancy in his work.
See more of his artwork here.