Bruce Lee - Poster Progress

I wanted to focus on more of Bruce Lee the more philosophical side of Bruce Lee about martial arts rather than just the martial arts itself. When I began developing this poster I set out to encompass the three basic principles of Jeet Kune, directness, simplicity and the form of no form. I tried to keep the poster as minimal as possible, but as Tyler had mentioned in critique, is it enough information to speak about him?

The Yin and Yang symbol is significant to Chinese philosophy in addition to martial arts, which Lee was very interested in. They are two opposing forces that are interconnected and give rise to each other such as dark and light, masculine and feminine, high and low, and dark and hot. The symbol is also utilized in the symbol to represent, Jeet Kune Do, a style of gung fu that Lee created himself.
Although Lee had developed his own wing of gung fu he was very much about development and having no style to prevent himself from being restrained in any way. I chose the fist punching through the masculine side of the symbol to represent the breaking of form and principle. I didn't mention during critique, but I created the symbol using watercolors for two main reasons, it is representative of Chinese watercolor paintings but more importantly, it alludes to the idea of water which Lee had always mentioned throughout his life. Water is a formless entity, but at the same time, it is able to take the form of something else. I wanted my construction method to reinforce this idea in a subtle way so I allowed the water to flow out of the symbol in the bottom right hand corner.

The fist is indexical to Lee because it represent his infamous one inch punch, which is why I chose a closed fist opposed to an open hand. Although I wanted my poster to focus on Bruce Lee the philosopher, I tried to create a duality in meaning which is less apparent. I used the half tone treatment of the image to refer to Hollywood which Lee loved, but also struggled with at the same time. The Yin and Yang symbol can also represent the split between his heritage and the balancing of the two. In Hollywood Lee felt he didn't receive the roles he deserved. In a series Lee had written himself, Warner Bros. denied him the leading role because they felt that a Chinese man was not a bankable star at the time so he took it into his own hands to knock down the walls of Hollywood. I also included the Chinese characters for his name in the background meaning, Little Dragon, because he was born in both the hour and year of the dragon. In Chinese astrology the dragon is a powerful force and in context to Hollywood, "Return of the Dragon" is the film that Lee was finally able to break down the walls of Hollywood with.

Another version with other symbols:

1 comment:

  1. That tiger is adorable. Maybe too adorable. haha, I think maybe that "red" is too much of a burnt sienna...maybe put a red paper background up?