SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS (2021) "Dragon Skin" Inspired Costume Concept Art by Andy Park

Check out Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings concept art by Andy Park!

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has gone in many places from the deepest jungles of Africa to the depths of space but Shang-Chi was unique. It's the first film to showcase Asian culture with a Chinese-Canadian lead. That decision and focus motivated everything from the cast to the director and even the costume design. 

In the film, Shang-Chi is forced to confront his father Wenwu (Leung) who's a warlord and the leader of the Ten Rings organization. He uses his vast resources to draw Shang-Chi and his sister Xialing (Zhang) into a search for a mythical village.

The costumes for Shang-Chi were designed by Kym Barrett. When actor Simu Liu put it on he said he had a physical sensation from the excitement. "It just sent chills right up my spine," he told Cinemablend. "I looked at myself in the mirror and got kind of emotional Just looking (at it)."

In the comics, Shang-Chi is known as the Master of Kung Fu and his costume changed a lot over the years. He starts out wearing a traditional karate gi was red with golden embellishments on the trim. 

From there Shang-Chi wore everything from a vest and bell-bottoms to no shirt and tattoos. He eventually moved to wear a red headband and silver bracers that became a staple of the costume. His most recent costume is a black and red bodysuit. It's this design that inspired the look of the movie.

Recently Andy Park, Marvel Studios Director of Visual Development, shared some early concept art from the development of the film. I shared a few of the images in my last Shang-Chi post but here are some more along with his comments.

Andy Park is a professional concept artist who's worked on major motion movies like Black Panther (2018), Avengers: Endgame (2019), and Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014).

Click on the images to enlarge

"Here's another more early design I did of Shang-Chi before I knew what the exact story was going to be about," Andy Park said on his personal Instagram page. "This is some kind of jumpsuit kung-fu hero-type look that I got to explore. Perhaps this lent to a more spy MI-6-type mission look."

That last comment about a spy agency look is interesting because Shang-Chi did become a spy at one point in the comics. In the comics, he worked with MI-6 before forming his own forms his own independent spy agency. 

"This one was getting closer to the final look in the film," he added. "It was before I incorporated dragon skin/scales, and this had a bit of a modern urban flavor to it with the hoodie and all. And I had to paint a dragon in the background… just for fun!"

In an interview with Comic Book Movie, he told the site more about the costume design. 

"Yeah, because we're an in-house team of artists that are full-time at Marvel Studios, we started doing some preliminary work even before there was Destin or Simu Liu cast or hired. Back then, we didn't really know what the story was, so the story evolves even as we're going into pre-production, so the first thing we always do is dive into the comics, trying to extrapolate stuff we can from there. Shang-Chi's a little bit more challenging with the origins and everything, but as the story started getting developed, I started honing in on what Destin and also what the leadership Jonathan Schwartz and Kevin Feige wanted, but I did the full exploration from very traditional ancient Chinese costumes to eventually seeing that the story isn't going to spending a lot of time up in the west, so doing very westernized, more urban, modernized clothing that even you and I can wear.

"Then, as the story got more and more solidified, that's when the ideas of, 'Okay, there's going to be a dragon in this film!' And, that's awesome, that's great, so that's when I started having the idea of, if this is something that is given to him from his mom and there's a dragon there, The Great Protector, then he can have some sort of dragon skin or dragon scale on his suit that acts as an armor even though we didn't want to put him in like armor-armor, right? But, because it has kind of a magical, otherworldly properties, that's when I started coming up with those ideas and then taking the motif, that upside down black triangle motif in the chest area from the comics and then coming up with the idea of the symbol, the Eternal Knot. I came up with that idea in my research, I thought that'd be perfect because it's a symbol that's used in many cultures, but definitely used in Chinese culture throughout the hundreds of years, in art and architecture and fashion; and it has a lot of symbolic meanings from everything from birth to death to rebirth. The never-ending cycle of life and the other thing that it means is that it's given as a gift, there's a connection between the giver and the receiver, so I thought that would be perfect with the story of the mother essentially giving this suit of armor or this kind of jacket, whole outfit, to her son, Shang-Chi, as a warrior as well as to protect him. So, yeah, it was a whole exploration of what is this thing."

Here are some images I shared previously.

See more of Andy Park's portfolio at Click on the links if you want to see more of Andy Park's work or Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings artwork on my blog.

Reference: Cinemablend, Comic Book Movie, Comic Book Movie

About Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)

Official synopsis: "Shang-Chi must confront the past he thought he left behind when he is drawn into the web of the mysterious Ten Rings organization."
Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton
Cinematography by Bill Pope
Production Design by Sue Chan
"Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" stars Simu Liu, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Awkwafina, Ben Kingsley, Meng'er Zhang, Fala Chen, Michelle Yeoh, Wah Yuen, Florian Munteanu, Andy Le, Paul W. He, Stephanie Hsu, Kunal Dudheker, and Tsai Chin.

"Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" was released on August 16, 2021 (United States)
What do you think of the concept art? If you've seen Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings what do you think of the look?

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