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Inspired by a childhood friend

By Lin Qi | China Daily | Updated: 2018-01-09 08:04
Zhou Lingzhao (middle in red), 99, attends a ceremony in Beijing to issue the Year of the Dog stamps he designs. A cake to mark the release bears the stamps' patterns. [Photo by Jiang Dong/China Daily] 

Zhou Lingzhao, 99, remembers a dog from long ago as he designs stamps, released on Friday, for the upcoming Chinese New Year. Lin Qi reports.

Graphic designer and muralist Zhou Lingzhao, 99, still remembers his best friend from childhood, a dog his family had in his native village in Central China's Hunan province.

"The black dog often accompanied me when I went into town," says Zhou, a retired professor from Beijing's Central Academy of Fine Arts. "He protected me from wild dogs."

A year ago, Zhou was commissioned by China Post to design a postage stamp to celebrate the Year of the Dog in the Chinese lunar calendar, which will begin on Feb 16.

He then depicted the dog from his childhood for the stamp. And he paired it with another stamp for which he drew a dog and her puppy from a breed often referred to as the zhonghua tianyuan quan (Chinese rural dog).

The set of two stamps were issued nationwide on Friday. Each has a face value of 1.2 yuan (18.5 US cents).

The stamps highlight canine loyalty and a blessing of safety, says Li Guohua, the general manager of China Post.

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