The Art of War

Big Bruce Lee

Mu Pan is a Taiwanese artist currently based in New York City. With influences ranging from Hong Kong cinema of the 1980s and 1990s to Japanese manga and kaiju movies, Mu incorporates elements of Chinese history and mythology to tell epic stories and legends with modern sensibilities. Mu’s artwork is never about art for its own sake – in his own words, “I am just an otaku who draws.”

潘慕文(Mu Pan)是一名现居纽约的台湾艺术家。他融合中国历史和神话元素,用画作来讲述具有现代感的史诗故事和传奇,从80、90年代的香港电影到日本漫画和怪兽电影,都对潘慕文的作品产生了很大的影响。他的艺术作品从来不只是为了创作而创作,用他自己的话说,“我只是一个画画的宅男”。

From the The Loyal Retainers series. / 来自《The Loyal Retainers》系列
From the The Loyal Retainers series. / 来自《The Loyal Retainers》系列
From the Ten Drawings series. / 来自《Ten Drawings》系列

As an artist who tells stories of epic, large-scale battles, war is one of Mu’s primary inspirations. He shares, “War, to some degree, is a beautiful thing to me. War creates great characters, and it also writes history. You’ve got to be a great artist in order to fight a war as a commander. There are so many arts you have to master in warfare, such as the formation, the economic concern, the time, the strategy, the geographic advantage, the numbers difference between you and your enemy, the art of brainwashing for loyalty, and the sense of mission. It costs a great amount of patience, and it also requires a high level of charisma and intelligence. Whether it is for invading or defending, to me it is just beautiful to see how a person can unite people’s individual strengths to become one great power to fight against the opponent.”


Loyal Retainer: Final Chapter
Dinoasshole Chapter 3
Dinoasshole Chapter 5

Mu often draws from the theatre of modern events to find inspiration for his work. “Usually, when I’m excited about something I saw or read on the media, or from my daily life, I first associate the subject with a monster or some creatures on a large scale, then think about who it will be fighting with.”

潘慕文经常从现代事件中汲取创作的灵感。 “如果我从媒体、日常生活中看到或读到一些令我感兴趣的东西时,我会把这个主题延伸联想出某个怪物或是一些体型庞大的生物,然后去构想这只怪物开战的对象。”

From the Ten Drawings series. / 来自《Ten Drawings》系列
My Name is Charlie: Yellow
My Name is Charlie: Red

With regards to his creative process, Mu is about spontaneity and creating in the moment. He never creates preliminary sketches for a painting, preferring to work freely and make changes on the fly. As each painting progresses, it reflects the emotions and events of his daily life. “I let the piece flow with whatever is happening in my life,” he explains. “This gives me the motivation to keep going day after day.”


From the Frog Wars series. / 来自《Frog Wars》系列

For Mu, art is a way to channel man’s energy, destructive power, and warlike disposition within the constraints of modern society. “I worship the strength of men and animals,” he tells us. “I dream to have the dominating power to rule, to destroy, and instill fear into my enemies. Of course, it’s impossible. No one can have this kind of power in today’s world. So I created my own world for myself with my images. In my images, I can be whatever I want to be and eat whoever I hate. Every monster I draw is actually a self-portrait.”


From the Monkeys series. / 来自《Monkeys》系列
From the Ten Drawings series. / 来自《Ten Drawings》系列
Big Bad Wolves

Instagram: @mupan1911


Contributor: George Zhi Zhao



供稿人: George Zhi Zhao