The journal Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies has just published a piece by Todd Honma and Anthony Francosco, focusing on the long term project by Chris Brand, 108 Heroes of Los Angeles. The article, titled 21st century Suikoden: Tattoo reinterpretations of the ‘Water Margin’ as racialized resistance in Chicano Los Angeles, has been in the works for a while, and is attached for your reading pleasure.
According to the article's abstract:
"This article focuses on tattoo artist Chris Brand’s recent project, 108 Heroes of Los Angeles, as a way to understand how experiences of minoritization are narrated through the racialized geographies and historical specificities of global Los Angeles. Basing his work on the woodblock prints of nineteenth century artist Kuniyoshi, Brand reinvents the heroic figures of the fourteenth century Chinese novel ‘Water Margin’, or Suikoden, in Japanese, by inserting in their place Chicano heroes in the context of 1980s Los Angeles. Brand’s personal and professional experiences have enabled him to develop a visual aesthetics that reflects a particular Angeleno perspective. By combining Chicano black and grey tattooing with Japanese tattooing, Brand’s work highlights the ways in which the Suikoden’s transculturation across space and time function to redefine our understanding of urban topographies of race, the narration of marginality, and the circulating aesthetics of resistance that converge at the intimate scale of the body."