News / Arts & Entertainment

Large Chinese Lanterns Make California Appearance

Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Elizabeth Lee

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in new styles at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. 
 
When the sun sets, and visitors step through the red gates lit with light, they enter a world of illumination, satin and steel. 

The lantern exhibit at the county fair is called Luminasia.  Many visitors who expected to see traditional lanterns were caught off guard by creations of fish, frogs and even the Statue of Liberty. 

Event Associate Producer Ge Liang is impressed with these works of art.

“When I first saw the pictures I thought to myself, 'wow how can this be made?'  It is very very fascinating to me," said Liang.

These lanterns are a specialty from the city of Zigong in China’s Sichuan province.  Known for their expertise, artisans from Zigong flew to Los Angeles and built each creation from scratch.

“They are trained at a very young age on how to make them," said Liang.

From welders to electricians to fabric experts who stretch satin over the steel frames lit with lights, the 49 artisans spent a month creating lanterns that are whimsical, mythical and lifelike. 

"I see the the results of my efforts becoming a reality," said Song Hui, one of the metal workers. "Everywhere that we finish a job, we feel a sense of achievement.  It reflects their value whether it is in China or in other countries."

Song says while these types of creations have been featured in China, not many people in the United States have seen this kind of lantern art.

"It helps promote Chinese culture around the world and helps other people understand the Chinese culture," he said.

President and Chief Executive Officer of the Los Angeles County Fair Association Jim Henwood says the display is also a way local residents of different cultures can better understand the large Chinese population that lives in Southern California.

“How do we bridge the ethnic diversity in a cultural environment that is important and significant here in Southern California?" asked Henwood.

One answer is Luminasia.  Visitors can stroll through the outdoor exhibit and view illuminated creations from Chinese myths and legends, such as a dragon, phoenix and the animals of the Chinese zodiac.  But visitors will also find some of the wonders of the world such as the Egyptian Sphinx and the Easter Island statues.  There are also lit displays iconic to Los Angeles, such as the giant Hollywood sign.  

Everyone, including Marvin and Mayra Fuentes and their young son seems to have a favorite.

“The big dragon, I think, for myself," said Marvin.

“I kind of like the Dodgers [Los Angeles baseball team] stuff - that was kind of cool.  Cause it's so big and completely L.A,, which one did you like? [asking a child] He like the frogs, the moving frogs," said Mayra.

Whether for the young or the young at heart, there seems to be something here that captures the imagination in this wonderland of lights.   

You May Like

Myanmar Fighting Poses Dilemma for China

To gain some insight into conflict, VOA’s Steve Herman spoke with Min Zaw Oo, director of ceasefire negotiation and implementation at Myanmar Peace Center More

Australia Concerned Over Islamic State 'Brides'

Canberra believes there are between 30 and 40 Australian women who have taken part in terror attacks or are supporting the Islamic State terror network More

Recreational Marijuana Use Now Legal in Washington, DC

Law allows adults 21 and over to privately possess and smoke 0.05 kilogram of pot, and to grow small amounts of the plant More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

Country-pop singer, Lizzie Sider sits down with "Border Crossings" host Larry London to perform songs from her new album, “Butterfly,” and to talk about her anti-bullying tour.