The U.S. Postal Service will release a Year of the Dragon stamp — the fifth in its Lunar New Year series — at a public event next week.
About the event:
The event will be held at the Chinatown Community Center in Seattle
International District on Jan. 25, according to a press release
. About 22 million stamps
have so far been printed to celebrate the Year of the Dragon, which begins on Feb. 10 and ends on Jan. 28, 2025.
Among those invited to attend include Eduardo H. Ruiz, Jr., USPS’s vice president of retail and delivery operations in the Western-Pacific area; Dr. Connie So, a professor from the University of Washington and president of the Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA) Greater Seattle – Asian Pacific American Advocates; and Joël Barraquiel Tan, the executive director of Seattle’s Wing Luke Museum
About the stamp: The new stamp features a yellow dragon with sharp teeth, an orange nose, a pair of green whiskers and ears, and glaring, red eyes. It also has ornaments hanging on the sides of its face that appear attached to blue flower earrings. Camille Chew of Providence, Rhode Island, is listed as its artist, while Antonio Alcalá of Alexandria, Virginia, is listed as designer and art director.
Critics weigh in:
The design drew some criticism among San Francisco’s Chinese
community, according to The San Francisco Standard
. Leland Wong, a Chinatown-based artist, told the outlet that they confused the design with a monkey, saying it “doesn’t look like an Asian
dragon at all.”
Claudine Cheng, the president of the Asian Pacific American Heritage Foundation, said that while the artist can have their own interpretation of the dragon, it still has to be “culturally sensitive.” Cheng, who had advocated for Lunar New Year stamps in the past, also pointed out that those released so far looked similar to each other.
USPS responds: Addressing the criticism, USPS said they have worked with a “professor of late imperial and modern Chinese art history with a focus on gender issues and globalization of material culture” for this year’s stamp. The agency also stressed that there is a “latitude for a variety of interpretations” for the stamp design, saying they have always welcomed public suggestions.