Thursday, April 15, 2010

new tee shirt designs!

I've churned out a few CafePress tee shirt designs, in case you're interested. I'm still in the process of slapping the images onto the merchandise, but if you visit my tee shirt section now, you'll see the complete set below. I'll eventually have the designs on several different kinds and sizes of shirts for men and women, but for the moment, they're only on white tees for men (sorry, ladies!).

Design 1: The front and back images of a tee shirt showing an apparently nonsensical series of Chinese characters: two-ten-color-energy-self. But if a Korean were to read the sequence aloud, they'd hear themselves saying "Ee ship saek gi ah," which is very close to "You sonofabitch!" (i shipsaekgi-ah!)



Design 2: an improved version of my old bul shim (Buddha Mind) design.

Design 3: the return of Dalma Daesa (Bodhidharma)! I kind of like how this image turned out. Some street artists I know in Seoul would disagree with making ol' Dalma look so angry, but in truth it's not anger: it's intensity. Like a dude pushing out a difficult turd.

Design 4: when it comes to the "dick proverb," I can never leave well enough alone. As you'll recall, it was my buddy Mike who, several years ago, challenged me to see whether I could render a certain Roman proverb into Chinese. According to Mike, the original proverb was, "When your luck runs out, it matters not how big your dick is." My 9-character rendering: bul un shi/dae nam geun/mu so yong: mis-fortune-time/big-man-root/no-use. "In a time of misfortune, a big penis is useless." While not an exact translation, I don't think it's a bad one, and it earned me some chuckles back when I was selling my calligraphy on the street in Seoul.

Design 5: sae ong ji ma. The following two images are for one tee shirt, front and back. The characters literally mean (as the tee shirt's back panel explains) "Poor (sae) old man (ong) 's (ji) horse (ma)." The phrase, in and of itself, isn't really a proverb or a saying, but it refers to a proverb-like idea. For Koreans, the idea is something like irony, but the story to which the proverb refers is more about how fortune is always changing, and how we need to be prepared for that fact.



NB: I wrote the characters in vertical columns to be read from right to left. The back of the tee notes this.

Design 6: a design I've been wanting to do for a while: an explanation of the character seon (Zen). The character is composed of two characters that, separately, mean "see(ing)" and "simple/single." Zen is all about seeing things in their suchness-- seeing simply, cutting to the root, not being distracted by one's own mental buzz. Concentration, focus, directness, and simplicity are all implied in the Zen attitude toward life.

The above design appears on its own, and also appears as a back-panel image, with Dalma Daesa on the front.

If you feel inclined to buy a tee, I certainly won't stop you.



Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

In a time of Miss Fortune, however . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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Kevin Kim said...