We’re proud to announce that Lunar Fest NJ 2018 will be joined by the accomplished Asian-American designer, Kam Mak.
Mak is best known for being commissioned in 2008 by the United States Postal Service (USPS) to design a 12-year stamp series Celebrating Lunar New Year. This year, his Year of the Dog stamp has won accolades both in and out of the Asian-American community.
Mak will be at the festival, talking about his design work, as well as the thinking behind each of the USPS Lunar New Year stamps. He was gracious enough to share some of his thoughts ahead of time:
The Year of the Dog stamp continues the concept of using the Lunar New Year elements to highlight the rich customs and tradition of celebrating the Lunar New Year.
Upon looking at this commemorative stamp, many just see its beauty but the Chinese see it a profound art work detailed with rich and colorful symbolisms.
I specifically chose three stalks of lucky bamboo on the stamp because it is one of the most favorite number combinations to have in your home. It brings three kinds of luck to everyone, Fu ( good fortune or happiness), Lu (wealth), and Soh (long life).
And the green color of the lucky bamboo is the best wood element color to compliment the earth dog. Notice however that the bamboo stalks are artistically curving and twisting which symbolize life’s paths and though the journey may be fraught with twists and turns the budding leaves on top are always optimistically facing upwards to heaven.
The red ribbon of fate floating throughout the middle signifies joy and rebirth, and entwines us together in peace and cooperation while anchoring us firmly to the earth
On the right side of the design is a red square positioned on one point (diamond shape) with additional script characters “Fu” written on red paper.
The color red has been used to symbolize luck in Chinese culture. The word “Fu” stands for good fortune or happiness. Recalling my childhood in Hong Kong, my Grandma would pay someone to write Fu and other couplets on red paper by hand, and she would post them around the house just before the New Year.
Of greatest importance is the bold red Fook character of Blessings and Prosperity which was placed auspiciously and directly above the word Forever, meaning Prosperity and Blessings unto you forever.
People who are born in the year of the dog have the character trait of loyal, honest and responsible in work.
May this lucky stamp bring you peace, prosperity and good health throughout the Year of the Dog!
Be sure to join at the festival to hear from Mak. And check out more of his beautiful USPS stamp designs below.