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

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs

New in Music Alley

Border Crossings: Nnekai
|| 0:00:00
...  
🔇
X
August 26, 2015 2:42 PM
Nigerian singer, songwriter Nneka sits down with Border Crossings host Larry London to perform songs from her latest CD, "My Fairy Tales" and to talk about her inspirations and influences.

Nigerian singer, songwriter Nneka sits down with Border Crossings host Larry London to perform songs from her latest CD, "My Fairy Tales" and to talk about her inspirations and influences.