For collectors, zodiac stamp has always been popular. Stamp designs and artworks have always been of interest. January this year, “DingYou Nian” which featured rooster stamp was made publically available for the first time. The exquisite design and artwork is loved by many. The artist and designer behind the stamps is renowned in China. He is Mr. Han Meilin, a professor from Tsinghua’s Academy of Arts and Design.
There are two sets of “DingYou Nian” stamps. One has a white background and the other, a more colourful one. This continues the design style of the fourth round of lunar year stamps. The first design shows a powerful and proud rooster. The second stamp is a hen surrounded by chicks. It is drawn in an abstract fashion and symbolizes a “happy family”. The “DingYou Nian” stamps represents happiness as well as prosperity shown in the pose of the rooster. During this design, Professor Han employed his distinctive style to reflect the overall feel of “homely happiness”. He added a different style to the drawings of the rooster, the hen and the chicks.
“I started collecting stamps in 1956 and designed Year of the Pig stamps in 1983. After 33 years, I participated in the design of stamps again so this is fate. This is my fate with traditional culture and art.” For the “DingYou Nian” stamps, Han Meilin painted thousands of manuscripts. The final design was handpicked by Han himself.
Renowned TV presenter Bai Yansong who presided over the opening ceremony of these “DingYou Nian” stamps said: “The birth of such lunar year stamps is a profound integration of artistic design, printing technology and deep cultural traditions. This is the result of innovation in concept, design and technology.”
There is a long history between these designs and Tsinghua’s Academy of Arts and Design. Professor Wu Guanying from the Academy was involved in the design of “XinMao Nian”, “GuiSi Nian” and “YiWei Nian”. The 2014 Year of the Horse stamp was designed by Associate Professor Wang Hongwei and his postgraduate student Hao Wangshu.
Since the issuance of the first zodiac stamp (Year of the Monkey) in 1980, zodiac stamps have continued year after year, cycle after cycle. It has always started with the Monkey and ended with the Goat. Professor Wu Guanying completed his top work as part of the third cycle and Professor Han Meilin’s design took over. His work was made well known during the CCTV Lantern Festival Gala. This set of stamps continues the tradition of Chinese zodiac stamps and keeps the Chinese heritage in a special way. The design is also a way for Tsinghua University to preserve herself with our traditional culture.