‘American Born Chinese’ Gets SXSW Poster From ‘EEAAO’ Artist James Jean


Just a few days after its May release date was announced, Collider is excited to exclusively reveal the brand-new special edition poster for the Disney+ coming-of-age action-comedy series American Born Chinese that debuted at 2023’s SXSW Festival, which was created by Taiwanese-American artist James Jean who also crafted the Everything Everywhere All at Once poster.

The new poster that sees flowers blooming from the backpack of the series’ lead character Jin Wang, played by Ben Wang, also comes with a statement from Jean about the series and how he felt having the chance to create the poster for a series that resonated so much with him. “While watching American Born Chinese, my ears burned, and I squirmed in my seat,” said Jean. “I winced, only because Jin’s journey felt so hauntingly familiar. 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, and it was jarring to watch.” He also gave some insight into what the poster depicts and what it is trying to convey.


My poster for ‘American Born Chinese’ depicts Jin on his way to school and the Monkey King has shape-shifted into his backpack. While his 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. The reference to Castiglione represents the idea of cross-assimilation between East and West, not only from the narrative of the show, but in my own work as well. The cowlick on Kin’s head is from my own experience growing up in New Jersey where my Italian barber was incapable of cutting Asian hair, resulting in the shorter hairs shooting straight up. On Jin’s phone, Mjölnir flies into Freddy Wong’s head, further emphasizing the clashing of cultures.

American Born Chinese tells the story of Jin Wang as he attempts to balance social, school, and family life. When he meets a new foreign student at school, Wang finds himself embroiled in a battle between mythical Chinese gods. The series’ showrunner is Emmy® Award-winning writer/producer Kelvin Yu (Bob’s Burgers, Central Park) who will also serve as an executive producer alongside Destin Daniel Cretton (Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Short Term 12), Melvin Mar and Jake Kasdan (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. Cretton will also be the director on the series. The series is produced by Disney Branded Television and produced by 20th Television.

Image via Walt Disney Studios

RELATED: ‘American Born Chinese’: Release Window, Cast, Plot, and Everything We Know so Far

American Born Chinese Has An All-Star Ensemble Cast

Along with Wang, the series features an all-star international cast, including recent Academy Award winners Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan, who reunite after previously working together on Best Picture winner, Everything Everywhere All at Once. The starring cast also features 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). The series is also set to include several guest stars that will make up the pantheon of mythical Chinese characters, which sees Academy Award nominee Stephanie Hsu joining her Everything Everywhere co-stars as Shiji Niangniang, the Goddess of Stones along with Ronny Chieng as the unconventional monk, Ji Gong; Jimmy O. Yang as Dragon King, Ao Guang; James Hong as Jade Emperor; Leonard Wu as Niu Mowang/Bull Demon, and Poppy Liu as Princess Iron Fan. The series will also see Lisa Lu play a soon-to-be-retired acupuncturist Ni Yang and Rosalie Chiang as student activist Suzy Nakamura.

American Born Chinese premieres on May 24. Check out the new poster from James Jean as well as the show’s official synopsis down below:

‘American Born Chinese’ 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.


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