Albert Ng, a prominent local graphic designer and instructor in York University’s School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design (AMPD), has designed a special edition Year of the Rat stamp for this year’s issue of Canada Post’s Lunar New Year series. Ng collaborated with Seung-Sai Paek, an AMPD design graduate, on the illustration titled “Rat’s Wedding.”
The Lunar New Year stamp series is a long-running collection that began in 1997 and has since seen two separate 12-year collections issued. Ng, one of only two graphic designers to be inducted into the Order of Ontario, previously created Canada Post stamps for 2016’s Year of the Monkey issue and the Year of the Pig edition in 2019.
This year’s Rat’s Wedding issue, designed in the style of art known as Chinese farmer painting, depicts a common theme in Chinese folk art, featuring a wedding procession of rats carrying a bride in a palanquin while playing horns and cymbals. The domestic rate stamp shows a bride on her way to her wedding, while the international stamp pictures a happily married couple.
According to Ng, the design took more than two years to develop. “There’s a lot of research that goes on in developing it – a lot of people work together to create it,” Ng explained. “The snowy scene, reminiscent of Canada or northern China, joyfully captures the celebration of the wedding – and the coming New Year.”
The Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto held an unveiling of the stamp and related collectibles on Jan. 16. where more than 200 York design faculty, students and members of the public celebrated Ng’s design.
“We’re all incredibly proud to have one of our colleague’s and alumnus’ work featured so prominently,” said Sarah Bay-Cheng, AMPD dean. “Their design is both exquisite and playful. For me, it perfectly captures the sense of celebration, beauty, and community that is part of the New Year’s Celebration.”
The Year of the Rat – the first of the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac – began on Jan. 25 ends on Feb. 11. Rat’s Wedding stamp books and souvenirs can be purchased on Canada Post’s website.