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Feature: "More than Monkeys" on display in Singapore to usher in Year of Monkey
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  • http://english.dbw.cn   2016-02-01 09:13:25
     

    From pop culture to fine arts, from endangered primates to fables and folklores, Singapore Philatelic Museum (SPM) on Friday presented a new exhibition with monkey-themed stamps, philatelic materials and interactive exhibits to welcome the Year of Monkey.

    Entitled "More than Monkeys", more than 300 stamps on display, mostly from Asia, Africa, Central and South America, narrate this storyline. Visitors can not only find newly issued Chinese zodiac stamps, but also well-preserved ones issued in the past. The oldest stamp can be dated back to 1947.

    One of the highlights is the newly issued Zodiac Monkey stamp by Singapore Post Limited (SingPost) on Jan. 8. The stamp set comprises three stamps in various denominations, namely 1st Local, 70 cents and 1.30 Singapore dollars.

    Each stamp presents a colorful illustration of the monkey, which is the ninth animal sign in the Chinese zodiac cycle. Designed by Leo Teck Chong, the monkey stamp set is the ninth of 12 sets of stamps in the second zodiac stamp series issued by SingPost which began in 2008.

    "I believed he (the designer) has followed certain mode, almost for the previous eight years. The animals are actually in this style... I think he depicted the monkeys very well. They look agile, they look lively," said Chua Mei Lin, curator of SPM.

    Japan was the first country in the world to introduce the zodiac theme on stamps in 1950, which was the Year of Tiger. In 2016, Japan issued four stamps with monkeys, and one of the four can be seen at the exhibition.

    It's estimated that 54 stamps with monkeys from China are on display, including the famous "Red Monkey" stamp, which shows a black monkey on a dark red background.

    Chua told Xinhua that this stamp is one of the most sought-after zodiac stamps. Designed by renowned Chinese artist Huang Yongyu, and lithographer and sculptor Shao Bolin, it was the first zodiac stamp issued by China in 1980.

    When talking about monkeys, people may think of Sun Wukong, also known as Monkey King, a main character in the Chinese classical novel "Journey to the West." The exhibition also showcases various stamps related to the story of Sun Wukong.

    "Sun Wukong is a traditional classic that almost all Chinese know about. So I was very surprised when I was doing the research to find there were so many stamps printed on the Chinese fable. They highlighted Sun Wukong, and that was interesting. The color was very well," said Chua.

    According to Chinese astrology and belief, those born in the Year of Monkey are often said to possess character traits such as curiosity, mischievousness and cleverness. They are fun and loving persons who are always cheerful and energetic.

    Besides knowledge on Chinese astrology, the exhibition may also arouse people's awareness to protect the primates, as visitors can get more information about global issues, such as deforestation, poaching and conservation, with less known facts about the primates and their everyday habits.

    There are over 260 types of monkeys living around the world and they are of different shapes, sizes and colors. "Old World" monkeys live in Africa and Asia, while "New World" monkeys live in Central and South America. Many primates, such as the golden langur and common squirrel monkey, are on the endangered list because they are being hunted as souvenirs or pets.

    Besides being prey to other animals, primates are also losing their homes and lives to deforestation and poaching. Wildlife organizations around the world are trying to save them and stem the disappearance of many species of primates.

    "Stamps are excellent educational tools to learn about the world around us. SPM's zodiac animal series of exhibitions is one way through which we convey more about local and international traditions, while also giving visitors the chance to learn more about the zodiac animals," said Tresnawati Prihadi, general manager of SPM.

    Specially designed for children and families, the exhibition includes many interactive activities. Children can listen to the call of the loudest monkey, help the chimpanzee catch ants from the ant hill, test their ability at the jigsaw tree and spot for monkey-related terms at the word search puzzle.

    The exhibition will run from Friday to Sept. 25.

    Author:    Source: xinhua     Editor: zhaojiawei

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