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"Let's have this rabbit on move" -- Canadian designer of Chinese lunar new year stamp

English.news.cn   2011-01-08 08:12:30 FeedbackPrintRSS

By Xinhua Writer Shi Rong

Canadian designer Paul Haslip shows new stamps featuring the upcoming Chinese Lunar Year of the Rabbit designed by himself in Toronto, Canada, Jan. 6, 2011.Canada Post issued two stamps on Friday, in celebration of the upcoming Chinese Lunar Year of the Rabbit.(Xinhua/Zhou Zheng)

TORONTO, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- "Celebration, playfulness and prosperity" are the three words Paul Haslip, a Canadian stamp designer, described his new piece -- stamp to mark the coming Chinese Lunar New Year of rabbit.

However, first and most important for Haslip, a native Canadian who has never come to China before, is that this rabbit should be a very unique one.

"This was really a challenging job," Haslip told Xinhua in an interview on Thursday in his downtown office in Toronto, just one day before Canada Post issued the stamps for the Chinese lunar new year.

With red-framed glasses on his nose, Haslip, in his fifties, looked very fashionable. The whole office is bathed in orange beamed lights, and the atmosphere was both drift and dreamlike.

His words were echoed by Alain Leduc, Stamp Design Manager with Canada Post. "There's the need to come up with a design that's as multi-dimensional and powerful as the previous one, but also something very different from the past stamps in the series."

Haslip recalled that first thing his team did was using internet to research for Chinese traditional art forms. "We just want to get a feel for that. We went to China Town, and just walked on the street and that gave me a feeling of Chinese community."

He picked up a piece of design draft and explained: "It all starts with this little 32 millimeters square. Hopping rabbit is so characteristic to a rabbit."

"I thought rather than a rabbit sitting there and looking at us, let's have this rabbit on the move," Haslip admitted that he was thrilled by the idea of having a hopping rabbit on stamps.

"We want to be a little more playful with it, so that's one thing make this very unique. That is a basic raw idea; everything else is built from there," said Haslip.

The domestic rate commemorative features a rabbit on the heels of another rabbit, creating a repeating image of rabbits that appear to be hopping across the stamp frames.

"This image was a unique way of visually connecting one stamp to the next on the domestic pane," said Haslip, also a partner at HM&E Design, the firm that designed the stamp.

"Finding a unique yet simple way of visualizing the rabbit was our starting point in the design. While the rabbit is not as dramatic as the tiger or the snake, it does leap over obstacles."

The international stamp was inspired by traditional Chinese embroidery. The image of two rabbits chasing each other in an endless circle is based on a traditional Chinese robe medallion.

The stamp also uses gold foil to mimic the metallic gold thread in the embroidered design. This element also signifies that this is the Year of the metal rabbit, which occurs every 60 years.

Haslip said that his works is not only in conjunction with the Chinese traditional culture, in color consistent with the requirements of the Canada Post, but also mean to be accepted by other ethnic groups in Canada -- a country featured by its multiculturalism.

"I don't think it is just a Chinese work of art, I believe it is a work of art and will be accepted by the general public," said Haslip.

Canada Post has issued 5.5 million of the domestic rate stamp and 240,000 souvenir sheets

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Editor: Yang Lina
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