James Jean designs Johnnie Walker bottle
Diageo-owned Johnnie Walker has debuted new artwork for its Blue Label whisky in celebration of the Lunar New Year, designed by visual artist James Jean.
Jean’s design portrays 2024’s Zodiac animal, the dragon.
His dragon is composed of organic elements and flowers, designed to symbolise connections and roots.
Born in Taipei and raised in New Jersey, Jean is currently based in Los Angeles and has worked on campaigns for the likes of Prada, as well as with Hollywood directors on promotional posters for films such as Blade Runner 2049 and The Shape of Water.
He said: “With Johnnie Walker Blue Label Lunar New Year, we wanted to create a dragon that felt different, new and innovative – respect for the past but also looking into the future with optimism; in the same way that Johnnie Walker stands for progress through that incredible ‘keep walking’ spirit.
“The Year of the Dragon is rich in symbolism and tradition in Asia. Many consider the dragon the most powerful animal in the Chinese Zodiac and the wood dragon felt remarkably close to me because of the natural elements prevalent in my own work.
“Evolved from traditional depictions of Chinese dragons, my dragon is composed of flowers and organic elements, from which emerge tendrils and arcing lines, evoking the idea of roots and connection.”
‘Layers to be discovered’
For further inspiration, Jean drew from the Blue Label’s flavours, created by Johnnie Walker’s master blender Emma Walker and her team.
“There are hidden elements in the picture as well – layers to be discovered, just like the layers in this incredible whisky,” he added.
“I included chrysanthemums, from which flow liquid gold – inspired by Johnnie Walker whiskies – and hummingbirds sipping on the precious nectar. I want the viewer to peel back the layers and discover more about the image. I want my work to function from far away but reveal more details the more closely you explore the imagery.”
Jean has also designed artwork for the Lunar New Year John Walker & Sons XR 21 limited edition design.
Johnnie Walker’s global marketing and innovation director, Joao Matos, also commented: “James Jean’s remarkable interpretation of the Wood Dragon for Johnnie Walker Blue Label Lunar New Year captures the essence of tradition and innovation.
“Just as Johnnie Walker embodies progress with our ‘keep walking’ spirit, James has beautifully blended respect for the past with an optimistic look towards the future.
“His dragon, crafted from flowers and organic elements, is a symbol of the power of creativity and connection. We’re thrilled to celebrate the Year of the Dragon with this exquisite, limited edition design.”
All Johnnie Walker Lunar New Year limited edition designs are available in selected markets globally.