February 16, 2008

MULTICULTURALISM IN A 1981 STAMP


This stamp was designed in 1981.
I was invited to design a commemorative stamp for an Intercultural Psychiatry Symposium that would, for the first time, take place in Macau. The main reason for that event was the study of identity cases of multi-cultural places and eventual disorders derived from mixed identities.

One of my first thoughts was about how to approach the theme symbolically. I felt that it was definitely through religion as it carried sufficiently distinct iconography to represent East and West roots.

It happened that I was able to photograph a beautiful wooden sculpture of a very unique Arhat , known as Lohan in Chinese Buddhism. Painstakingly I drew the sculpture with its gold leaf pealing and superimposed it with the Christian cross, defining limits for different colors.

The idea came by looking into my own local memories: whenever a large venture was started, such as the building of a bridge, Buddhist monks and Catholic priests would pray side by side, in a fine example of tolerance and conviviality.

The Post Office was quite happy with the idea and within a couple of days they had the final work painted with poster colors on a large board. No one dreamed of computers or digital images those days.

The interesting thing was that the Symposium itself took the stamp as a case debate.

: : Ars Cives Art Director : :