Year of the Blissful Monkey is a sticker postcard created with three spot colors and gold foil for the local government of Taoyuan City in Taiwan (臺灣桃園市), to celebrate 2016, the Year of the Monkey.
Instead of depicting actual images of the namesake animal, Year of the Blissful Monkey is a typographically heavy piece that playfully explores languages and symbology.
Monkeys (猴, pronounced “ho” in Mandarin) are traditionally believed to love peaches, while peaches (桃, pronounced as “tao” ) are both a symbol of longevity and the first character in Taoyuan City's traditional Chinese spelling. The same "ho" which is used to mean "monkey" in Mandarin can conveniently also be used to mean "fortune" in Taiwanese. Beyond that, "ho" can be used to signify jovial laughter in both Mandarin and English. It is in this "ho" that the intertwining nature of these multiple global languages is explored.
With its peach-shaped O and cheerful art nouveau features, Hobo (yet another "ho") therefore was the perfect fit to meld traditional Chinese characters with the Roman alphabet in this piece.
Tying these celebratory aspects together—happiness, fortune, longevity, hope for a good year, monkeys, peaches, laughter, and the city of Taoyuan—Year of the Blissful Monkey is not only a commemorative piece for the new year, but also a joyous festival of meaning and form.
猴氣啦! Good fortune!
桃園好時猴 A perfect Year of the Monkey for Taoyuan City
2016笑HO HO Have a laughter-filled 2016
快用貼紙&祝福轟炸朋友！Use the stickers from this card to wish your friends a happy new year!
- Jessica Kao