August 26, 2009 BY Aaron Kr.
You probably already saw the Beijing offering to the Air Max LeBron VII More Than A Game World Tour Artist Series on Monday, and now it’s time to take a look at the Shenyang edition that was presented to King James today. We showed you a sneak preview of the Chinese city artist creations last week, but now we get a detailed look at some of the finer points of the creation. The Shenyang version of the Air Max LeBron VII was designed by local artist, Ray Lei, who has not only incorporated some culturally influenced graphics and styles into the design, but there are also numerous touches that hold significance to LeBron’s life and basketball career. You can check out a bunch more detailed images of the Shenyang edition of the Artist Series after the jump, and read further about Ray Lei’s inspiration and motivation behind the design of the shoe.
Shenyang Artist Collaboration
At a presentation that took place during Nike’s grassroots activities in Shenyang, Ray Lei gave James a uniquely designed pair of Air Max LeBron VII shoes.
Lei used Chinese warrior images on the shoe to symbolize loyalty and bravery. He also represented LeBron’s loyalty by using symbols personal to him: “Irish” and the green color represent loyalty to his high school team, St Vincent St. Mary; “23” stands for his loyalty to his team; and “330” (his hometown area code) signifies loyalty to Akron, Ohio, where he grew up.
In order to connect the shoe back to Shenyang, cloud and water elements were used in the design, as they frequently were on the uniforms of the Qing dynasty. The rose is Shenyang’s city flower. Additionally fog patterns were infused into the design, a reference to Chinese fairy tales in which troops would appear from fog before battle — similar to LeBron’s signature chalk dust before each game.
Ray Lei is a 22-year-old graduate of the Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University, and is currently taking masters classes with Professor Wu Guanying, the father of animation in China. His talents encompass a range of mediums, including cartoon, graphic design, illustration, short comic, graffiti and Hip-Hop music.