The burning monk(ey)

Design by kaloyster

The burning monk(ey) by kaloyster on Threadless
2.04 Avg Score
0% Funded
2248 Votes
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kaloyster profile pic Artist

"He never moved a muscle, never uttered a sound."

Depending on the shirt, this design can go from 1 up to 4 colors. See my flickr account for more color options.

No primates were harmed during the making of this design.


nobody thinks this is in poor taste? Awesome illustration but don't like the reference.


lol @ hotmonkeytoday


i seen that monk that burned himself in protest in one of my history books its gross

kaloyster profile pic Artist

First of all, thank you very much to those who appreciate and like this design. It means so much to me.

Now, what I don't understand is why others say this is offensive or not wearable in public, when all I did was do a parody of one of the most famous photograph taken in history. I mean, what's so Vietnamese about this design? Why is this offensive and mean? Even more what's gross about this? So you mean self-immolation for a great cause offends you? Really, why is this offensive?

It's sad thinking that I made everything perfect and ready about this design for others not to appreciate this and say rude things about it. Threadless public voters are really unpredictable :(

Go ahead, if you really hate my design that much give it a zero. It's so disappointing. And to think that this is my most favorite artwork I made. You can't even appreciate the art, time and effort I put to this :(

This is a t-shirt designing contest.

"It's a t-shirt.

aled profile pic Alumni

Ok. I understand what you're saying about time and effort, and it technically looks good - but I do think it is slightly naive to think that this will not be offensive to some people. It is a famous image - but because it documents one of the most remarkable protests ever. It astonishes everyone who sees it because it is a man committing suicide in the most horrifying and public way because he believes so strongly in his cause and he wants the world to know it. I think your satirization of this image trivialises and belittles this event and is slightly disrespectful to the monk and the cause he died for - also because your design likens the dying man to a monk(ey)! Which isn't even clever wordplay. Most, not all, people who recognise the original image will think this design too tactless.

So – try a pastiche of something that people don’t mind being parodied. Chin up! It’s a good illustration. Its just the concept is a bit hot. No pun intended. I’m giving you a 3 :-)

kaloyster profile pic Artist

Here are some color options.

IMHO, I think Dakota Slate and Heather Grey are nice.


C'mon, kaloyster! The only offensive jokes you're allowed to make on Threadless involve communism and Jesus! Didn't you get the memo?


The illustration is indeed beautiful, but the minute I saw it I wasn't thrilled with the reference material for reasons seen above. Just copy and paste fatheed here basically.


I couldn't have said it better than Fatheed.


Personally, I like this burn much better.


wow i love this shirt. i dont know why its a monkey, please dont tell me youre comparing buddhist monks to monkeys. cuz im buddhist...

ISABOA profile pic Alumni

wonderful job - 5$


equating a tibetan monk to a monkey may be a little weird.

but this is a nicely done piece.

w/o the historical ref it's a 5.
w it's a 3.

mezo profile pic Alumni

Concept aside, I don't like the art. It has an aesthetic shape, but it looke like a yellow pee stain. It's really hard to see actual flames. And I can't make out the red areas inside. You claim there's a monkey, but I don't believe you! 2

kaloyster profile pic Artist

It's a parody that instead of a monk protesting against Diem presidency, it's a monkey protesting against cruelty to zoo animals; keeper being smelly, lack of food ration etc. I'm just too lazy to make a lame story behind it.

If this is poop, does this look poop to you, K-netic?

And please, submit some designs.


At first I thought you were joking with all that self pity 'people have said nasty things' crap.
It is offensive because someone gave their life for something they thought was important, and you have turned it into a stupid pun to try & win $2000.


oh, Buddha!


It is really well done.

but i wouldn't buy it. on the premise of the subject matter it is poking fun at. I give it a 4. Well done, cheeky idea. But while i generally love things that follow this vein. this doesn't fly for the political ideals and motives behind the original action.

kaloyster profile pic Artist

I knew someone would look up my scoring average. Well FYI, that's not bad if you look at this, so don't make that a basis. It would've been higher if majority stop subbing FWF designs and such.

I think I'll just submit this to tshirthell, then.

And Bobby, thanks! :D


cool.. i mean HOT! =p im back.


It must suck to be one of those people who walks around with their noses turned up, finding everything so "offensive".

What if nobody made anything offensive? Hm? No smiling art because that might offend the clinically depressed. No rainbows, that might offend homophobes. No colored shirts because that might offend the color-blind. I find people's lack of a sense of humor and their oppression of other people's ideas via that lack of a sense of humor VERY offensive.

Clearly some of you have extrapolated the PUN into some sort of anti-burning monk propaganda... and that's just silly.

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