Chinese newspaper Global Times’ website recently put out in public an alleged “design concept” for a new, highly futuristic Japanese military helicopter, but they made some very foundational mistakes in their assumptions – firstly, that the design is not real, and secondly, that the alleged futuristic aircraft was not even made by the Japanese military.
On the Global Times’ website Huanqiu.com, the pictures of the design were described as “a Japanese Self-Defense Force design”. The captions and description were these: “This appeared online today; it seems to be a concept for a Japanese Self Defense Force armed helicopter made by the Japanese military complex.” Showing great insight, the authors added that, “One can see that because this type of technology is not yet available, it looks like something out of science fiction.” These comments were then followed by images with conspicuous DeviantART watermarks, which should have given the website administrators a big idea of what the images were. Sadly, they don’t seem to understand what DeviantART is.
The story was even carried Chinese news source Xinhua, comparable to global wire services like Reuters or AP. The Xinhua story, citing the already erroneous Global Times article, said that the helicopter concept was “designed by a Japanese professional.” This then got carried on the Chinese social networking alternative to Twitter, which is Weibo, where people were obviously baffled at this design, asking how this helicopter could even get airborne. Still others claimed it was real, while others said it was the Japanese ripping off somebody else. Funny how everybody disregarded the artist’s DeviantART URL that came with the images.
Needless to say – and hopefully this is obvious for JDP readers – the Fuujin Attack Helicopter depicted in these images is not a real concoction by the Japanese military, as these Chinese media outlets purport that they are, maybe to keep “scaring” their population of the Japanese. This was a rather fetching concept work of Singaporean graphic designer Ridwan Chandra Choa, a digital artist whose obvious talents were previously harnessed at Lucasfilm Animation in Singapore. These were all his own work, and he uploaded it to the art site – as all of us graphic designers and wannabe artists would, because we know what DeviantART is. I could blame China’s restrictive internet policies for fostering a media that does not know – but that would be a cop-out. Any self-respecting media outlet should be able to use a search engine to get proper information, or in this case, at least perceive the need for a search engine.