Shang Lin




Visual Designer & Printer

Samurai culture has always been a point of intrigue for me. The beautiful suits of armor are perfect examples of form and function coexisting in perfect balance. In my spare time I would study the different pieces of the armor and the symbols associated with different shoguns. What interested me the most was the headpiece. Japanese war helmets were intricately built and often times featured a mask, the kabuto. The masks were used to impress upon the samurai's enemies fear. At the same time the mask was also used to hide any sign of fear from the samurai's enemy.

The print is a tribute to the kabuto. The forms and shape of the helmet were inspired by actual samurai artifacts. A gradient and half-tone were then applied to each facet to help create depth. The wood grain pattern is in reference to Japanese wood block prints. The first two layers were created with a transparent base and ground up bits of charcoal which were pulled across the screen, creating the wood grain texture. The second layer was pulled from side to side versus up and down in order to create perpendicular grains. The last layer was the black halftone which brought the graphic of the helmet and mask out from the background.