Johnnie Walker has announced an intricate new Johnnie Walker Blue Label Lunar New Year Limited Edition Design created by one of the most influential visual artists in the world, Asian-American artist James Jean.

The vivid design for the Year of the Dragon features an innovative and dynamic interpretation of 2024’s Zodiac animal, the noble Wood Dragon. Regarded by many as the mightiest of all the Zodiac animals, the dragon is symbolic of life and creativity as well as a portent of future prosperity in traditional Asian culture, echoing the defiant optimism of the Johnnie Walker motto, Keep Walking. In James’ layered illustrations the evergreen Wood Dragon springs from bountiful flora and fauna, and bursts to life with auspicious ambition.

Renowned for his ability to work across different genres with an imaginative and multifaceted approach to image making, James fuses contemporary subjects with aesthetic techniques inspired by traditional Chinese scroll paintings, Japanese woodblock prints, and Renaissance portraiture.

Recently James worked closely with a number of Hollywood directors on promotional posters for several award-winning high-profile films.

James, who was born in Taipei and raised in New Jersey and attended the School of Visual Arts in New York, says: “With Johnnie Walker Blue Label Lunar New Year, we wanted to create a dragon that felt different, new and innovative – respect for the past but also looking into the future with optimism; in the same way that Johnnie Walker stands for progress through that incredible Keep Walking spirit.”

“The Year of the Dragon is rich in symbolism and tradition in Asia. Many consider the dragon the most powerful animal in the Chinese Zodiac and the Wood Dragon felt remarkably close to me because of the natural elements prevalent in my own work. Evolved from traditional depictions of Chinese dragons, my dragon is composed of flowers and organic elements, from which emerge tendrils and arcing lines, evoking the idea of roots and connection.”

James, who currently lives in Los Angeles, sought inspiration for his designs from the layers of incredible flavour that Johnnie Walker Master Blender Emma Walker and her team bring to Johnnie Walker Blue Label – a whisky made using some of the rarest whiskies from the unparalleled Johnnie Walker reserves of maturing Scotch, including some irreplaceable casks sourced from long-closed ‘ghost’ distilleries.

“There are hidden elements in the picture as well – layers to be discovered, just like the layers in this incredible whisky. I included chrysanthemums, from which flow liquid gold – inspired by Johnnie Walker whiskies – and hummingbirds sipping on the precious nectar. I want the viewer to peel back the layers and discover more about the image. I want my work to function from far away but reveal more details the more closely you explore the imagery.”

Johnnie Walker Global Marketing and Innovation Director, Joao Matos, adds: “James Jean’s remarkable interpretation of the Wood Dragon for Johnnie Walker Blue Label Lunar New Year captures the essence of tradition and innovation. Just as Johnnie Walker embodies progress with our ‘Keep Walking’ spirit, James has beautifully blended respect for the past with an optimistic look towards the future. His dragon, crafted from flowers and organic elements, is a symbol of the power of creativity and connection. We’re thrilled to celebrate the Year of the Dragon with this exquisite, limited edition design.”

James Jean also designed incredible artwork for the Lunar New Year John Walker & Sons XR 21 limited edition design. All Johnnie Walker Lunar New Year limited edition designs are available in selected markets globally.