An Eye for Change

As a child, Pat Lee, the colorist perhaps best known for his comic-book adaptation of Transformers, spent hours leafing through penny-bin comics, taking in all that he could from every corner of the world. Heavily influenced by Japanese works like AKIRA, Gundam, Ghost in the Shell, and Fist of the North Star, Lee integrates manga into a traditional Western style, a skill that landed him his first job at Image Comics and eventually established his reputation in the comics industry.

从小时候开始,Pat Lee 这位以改编《变形金刚》漫画作品而出名的漫画上色师,就喜欢把自己沉浸在漫画的世界里,常常一看就是好几个小时的时光飞逝。他从来自世界各地的漫画书中吸取不同的灵感刺激,其中对他影响最深的是日本漫画,譬如《阿基拉》(Akira)、《机动战士高达》(Gundam)、《攻壳机动队》(Ghost in the Shell)和《北斗神拳》(Fist of the North Star)等作品。他尤其擅长将日本漫画美学融合进传统的西方漫画,这样显着的风格不仅为他带来在美国漫画出版商 Image Comics 的第一份工作,最终也让他在漫画界获得一席之地。

“I kind of teetered off a bit when I was doing Marvel and DC stuff – it was very dark with a strong presence of very heavy blacks,” says Lee. “But I’ve realized I truly love making work that’s a hybrid of Japanese anime and American culture. It’s interesting to fuse things together.”

That’s exactly what he’s done with his ongoing series, Interference. Over the last 6 months, Lee has been gradually transforming images of Western pop-culture icons like Mickey Mouse and Marilyn Monroe into something more foreign.

Lee 说:“每当我给漫威或 DC 创作时,总是感到不太有把握。这些作品风格非常黑暗,像是压抑着一大片深沉的黑色色调。我意识到自己真正喜欢的是将日本动漫和美国文化相结合的作品。把不同的东西融合在一起比较有趣。”

他目前进行中的系列作品《Interference》(《干扰》)正是遵循这一理念来创作。在过去六个月里,Lee 将米老鼠和玛丽莲·梦露这些西方流行文化中的经典形象进行创新的演绎。

Each iteration of a figure changes in subtle ways, challenging the viewer to spot minor alterations, like an iris turned into a camera shutter, or a shoelace that’s actually a fiber-optic cable. While some pieces in the series involve futuristic technology, with aliens and robots seated alongside a bionic Bambi with exposed brain matter, all are a part of a larger narrative about technological development in a structure that mirrors that of a comic book.


Lee, known for his work with Copic markers, primarily uses acrylic for the paintings in Interference, which he often makes in quick succession. “Acrylic is just fun to apply, because it’s not as technical as Copic,” he says. “If you compare the two, acrylic has a kind of glow to it, this shine, texture, tone. It’s a thicker feeling, where Copic is very light, very illustrative. Really, they’re a pair – I have to have both.”

Lee 先前以他用 Copic 马克笔(源于日本的马克笔品牌,因其优良品质深受设计人士喜爱)来作画的作品闻名,但在《Interference》中他改用压克力颜料,这让他的创作过程更加一气呵成。他解释道:“压克力用起来比较有趣,因为它不像 Copic 马克笔那样讲究技巧。如果你认真比较一下这两种媒介:压克力颜料会有一种光泽,更有质感和色调,有一种更浓厚的感觉;而 Copic 马克笔则更加轻盈,更加清晰。应该说它们是一种互补吧,两种颜料我都需要。”

Lee says he doesn’t know what his paintings are going to look like when starting – he works backward and forward without a final image in mind. His process aligns with how he sees the development in technology, be that VR, the sex industry, or personal communications, playing out – in steps, leaps, and sometimes sprints. “I think Interference is about asking if we’re prepared for the technology that’s coming. Is our society ready for these kinds of tools, this tech? Should we be scared about our future, or is it exciting?”

Lee 表示,一开始创作时他不会知道自己最终会画出什么样子,过程中他会不断地来回调整,但不会去预先设定一个最终结果。他的创作方式体现了他对未来科技,像是虚拟现实、性行业或个人通讯等等,如何一步一步、或者说是大步发展的看法。“我认为《Interference》其实是在提问,我们是否已经为即将到来的科技做好了准备?我们的社会是否准备好迎接这些工具和科技?我们应该对未来感到害怕?还是感到兴奋?”

Lee’s work draws no conclusions on its own but asks viewers to actively notice changes, both big and small. Interference can help train our eyes and minds to focus on what’s happening right now, and to ask where we want technology to take us.

Lee 的作品本身并没有提供任何结论,但他要求观众去主动发现其中或大或小的变化。《Interference》可以帮助训练我们的眼睛和头脑,去专注于当下发生的事情,并提出问题:我们到底希望科技带領我们到哪里?

: @patleeart


Contributor: Sarah Forman

: @patleeart


供稿人: Sarah Forman