The US Post Office publishes a special stamp to celebrate the Lunar New Year on February 16, launched in January in Hawaii. Stamps with Dog images in the Chinese year, designed by Chinese American artist Kam Mak and highlighting Lunar New Year cultural traditions.
While lion dancers entertained many people, the US Post Office Bureau launched a dog year stamp in Honolulu. Designed by a Chinese painter, Kam Mak who lives in New York, the stamp depicts three bamboo stalks that symbolize luck.
"In the Chinese tradition, the first three lucky bamboo symbolizes blessings and fortune, second, long life, and third is wealth, I also inserted the character of Fu and that means blessing and luck, "Kam Mak said.
Hawaiian artist, the late Clarence Lee designed the first series of Chinese Lunar New Year stamps, featuring animals in the Chinese zodiac. In 2008, Kam Mak began designing the second series, which highlighted some of the Lunar customs and traditions of all time. The dog year stamp also includes a sketch of the original dog Lee in the upper left corner.
The post office published the first stamp of the Chinese New Year in 1992. Among the stamps designed by Mak, his favorite is from 2010, the year of the Tiger. The stamps feature lilies.
The Mak family immigrated from Hong Kong to America in 1971, when he was 10 years old. His parents worked hard with low salaries as a dishwasher at a Chinese restaurant to support his family, and his mother worked at a convenience store in Pechinan.
Mak struggling to learn English, he grew up as Chinese alleys rampant in the PeChinan area of New city York. Fortunately, Mak can join a City Art Workshop or Art Workshop in the city, which encourages teenagers in the city to explore the arts. It was then that he found his interest.
Now in his 50s, Mak lives in Brooklyn, and teaches painting at Fashion Institute of Technology New York. He has also made illustrations for many books and composed a picture book entitled "My Chinatown: One Year In Poems".
Through an organization called Behind the Book, Mak guides the youth and sharing experiences of his time growing up in Pechinan or Chinatown.
"And many of these children are mostly Hispanic and African descendants of New York City, I lecture in Brooklyn and in Harlem, so in addition to reading they are books, I take them to PeChinan so they feel all the things I experience when I grew up.This is very interesting for these kids, because everything they see is new to them I just want to arouse their imagination and want them to learn about other cultures, in addition to what they know from their own environment, "Mak continued.
Every time he speaks at community events, Kam Mak men say he hopes to inspire people, to be proud of who they are, and not to feel ashamed of themselves differently. [ps/jm]