The red, blue and yellow painting by Chinese artist Tan Ping also includes stylized waves trailing the length of the vessel, suggesting forward motion.
"This design is by far my largest artwork,"
said Tan, a painter, printmaker and educator who led a team to complete the landscaping and image work at the 2008 Beijing Olympic games.
The 3,850-passenger Norwegian Joy will home port in Shanghai and Beijing starting next summer. It is the first Norwegian ship custom-built for the China market.
Of his design, Tan said that the phoenix symbolizes beauty and good luck in Chinese culture, while the red color signifies joy and the yellow the grandeur of the 164,600-ton ship.
Tan’s design is the latest in a series of hull paintings on Norwegian ships. Its most recent vessel, Norwegian Escape, featured a rendering of marine life by conservation artist Guy Harvey. Other motifs include a New York skyline by pop artist Peter Max, a mermaid and swirling fusion of sea and sky by Miami artist Lebo, and depictions of flowers, gems, pearls and the sun on older ships.