China Daily

Stamps foster friendship between Canada, China

- By RENA LI in Toronto renali@chinadaily­

Liu Xiangping, a Chinese-Canadian artist and stamp designer, recalled a remarkable experience in a previous Year of the Ox.

It was 1997, the year that Hong Kong was returned to China, and Canada Post, in conjunctio­n with the then-Hong Kong Postal Administra­tion and China, celebrated the Chinese New Year with a stamp.

In January 2017, a special 45-cent stamp designed by Liu and two other Chinese Canadian artists was issued. Since then, Canada Post has been issuing a zodiac stamp for the Chinese Lunar New Year each year.

“Many traditiona­l customs related to the Chinese New Year are indeed transnatio­nal. They transcend political and cultural difference­s. They powerfully reflect the close connection­s of the overseas Chinese to their ethnic roots,” Liu said.

Liu said that what he was most proud of last year was the creation of a commemorat­ive stamp for China Post on the theme of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

When China Post issued a set of special stamps in 2003 to mark the triumph over SARS, Liu was one of the designers.

In January 2020, Liu left Toronto for Beijing. With the impact of COVID-19 drawing the attention of the entire country, China Post invited him once again to be one of two chief designers of a set of anti-pandemic-themed stamps.

On May 11, 2020, China Post issued the two stamps. One featured the phrase “Pursue Together, Combat the Pandemic” to pay tribute to the Chinese people in the fight against the virus.

Liu said the most important principle for the designs is to present the Chinese spirit of solidarity as well as that of human nature in tough times. “I tried to express the sense of perseveran­ce, anxiety and sorrow at the same time through people’s eyes,” Liu said.

As an artist who has been involved in the creation and design of China’s national historical works, Liu believes the function and influence of culture are among the universal values shared by different nationalit­ies.

To commemorat­e the centennial of Norman Bethune’s birth and his accomplish­ments, Canada and China jointly issued a pair of commemorat­ive stamps in 1990. Bethune dedicated his life to medicine and humanitari­anism in China in the late 1930s.

Jean Morin and Wanda Lewicka of Canada designed the stamps, and Liu illustrate­d them.

Representi­ng Bethune’s images changing from a civilian doctor who practiced in Canada to a battlefiel­d surgeon who served Chinese soldiers during the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, Liu aimed at reflecting Bethune’s legacy and spirit that combined medical humanitari­anism and internatio­nal communism.

“The stamps are the product of close cooperatio­n and cultural exchanges between Canada and China. They symbolize the fundamenta­ls of the friendship between the two countries,” said Liu. “We’ll never forget that Chinese and Canadian people were committed to the common values of justice and peace in WWII.”

 ?? PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY ?? Canada’s Lunar New Year stamp.
PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY Canada’s Lunar New Year stamp.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Hong Kong