This gorgeous art comes from animator and visual designer Leia Ham, who was struck by the idea of: what if The Lord of the Rings had been modeled after Chinese art aesthetics, instead of European? As she wrote on her website:
LOTR: Tale of the Middle Kingdom is a personal project that reimagines J.R.R. Tolkien's world of Middle Earth in a Chinese setting. China is called 中国 (Zhōngguó) – meaning ''The Middle Kingdom". Taking inspiration from the books, movies, ancient Chinese artefacts and paintings, this project is a love letter to my own Chinese heritage, seen through the lens of medieval fantasy and historical design.
She gave a little more context in a series of tweets:
I made this from a place of someone who lives in the west, but who also wants to see people like me be part of stories that I love, u know? I've had mostly lovely comments, and a couple here and there that were unkind at best and racist at worst.
And the truth is maybe thats why I wanted to make it- who wouldn't predict that there would b some ppl who are pissed about the idea of a Chinese lotr? But I hope that we can all see that transformative work takes nothing away from the original-But there's space for all of us.
You can click through to view the slideshow of artwork on her website, or check it out through the embedded Tweets below: