Disney+ Reveals Exclusive ‘American Born Chinese’ Poster Art Designed by Acclaimed Artist James Jean at SXSW World Premiere Event
SXSW Premiere Follows Historic Academy Award® Wins by Series’ Stars Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan, Select Cast and Executive Producers Attend SXSW Premiere
AUSTIN, Texas (March 15, 2023) — This afternoon, “American Born Chinese” revealed exclusive poster art created by multidisciplinary visual artist James Jean at the Disney+ Original series’ world premiere at SXSW at the Paramount Theatre in Austin, Texas. In attendance at the event were cast members Ben Wang, Daniel Wu, Chin Han and Sydney Taylor, and executive producers Kelvin Yu, Gene Luen Yang and Melvin Mar, all celebrating their fellow cast members Michelle Yeoh’s and Ke Huy Quan’s historic wins at the Academy Awards Sunday night. The Disney Branded Television series, produced by 20th Television, will premiere May 24 with all eight episodes, exclusively on Disney+.
The newly designed art depicts the journey of the main character, Jin Wang, and reflects Jean’s own experiences as an Asian American. Jean recently issued a commissioned art piece for the seven-time Academy Award-winning film “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” which had its world premiere at SXSW last year.
Jean’s new design captures Jin on his way to school, with Chinese mythological hero The Monkey King shape-shifting into his backpack. While the backpack alludes to the idea of cultural and emotional baggage, the flora emerging from within is a pastiche of the paintings of Giuseppe Castiglione, an Italian missionary who became a court painter in China during the Qing dynasty and revolutionized traditional silk scroll painting by combining Western rendering techniques with traditional Chinese aesthetics.
”While watching ‘American Born Chinese,’ my ears burned and I squirmed in my seat because Jin’s journey felt so hauntingly familiar,” Jean said. “It was the pain of recognition: the ill-fitting clothes, the feeling of being on the outside, the percussive sound of parents arguing through the walls in a language not fully grasped. I had never seen my own experience of adolescence depicted on screen like this before.”
James Jean is a multidisciplinary visual artist whose works explore imagination and reality through narrative-driven, layered compositions. His expressionistic, painterly approach to mark-making blends figuration with abstraction in works that are at once technically precise and gestural. He works primarily in painting and drawing while also embracing other media, including sculpture, installation and video. Fusing aspects of history, tradition, literature, nature and personal experience, Jean’s dream-like, and at times disorienting, visual vocabulary draws upon art historical antecedents ranging from Baroque paintings to Japanese woodblock prints and Chinese silk scroll paintings.
About American Born Chinese
“American Born Chinese,” the genre-hopping action-comedy based on the graphic novel of the same name by Gene Luen Yang, tells the story of Jin Wang, an average teenager juggling his high school social life with his home life. When he meets a new foreign student on the first day of the school year, even more worlds collide as Jin is unwittingly entangled in a battle of Chinese mythological gods.
The coming-of-age adventure features an all-star international cast, including Academy Award-winning actors Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”), Ben Wang (“Chang Can Dunk”), two-time International Emmy® Award nominee Yeo Yann Yann (“Wet Season”), Chin Han (“Mortal Kombat”), Daniel Wu (“Reminiscence”), former Taekwondo champion Jimmy Liu and Sydney Taylor (“Just Add Magic”).
Emmy Award-winning writer/producer Kelvin Yu (“Bob’s Burgers,” “Central Park”) serves as executive producer and showrunner. Destin Daniel Cretton (Marvel’s “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” “Short Term 12”) is set to direct and serves as executive producer alongside Melvin Mar and Jake Kasdan (both of “Doogie Kamealoha, M.D.,” “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” and “Jumanji: The Next Level”), Erin O’Malley (“Doogie Kamealoha, M.D.”), Asher Goldstein (“Short Term 12,” “Just Mercy”) and Gene Luen Yang.