Spanish artist designs poster of Chinese zodiac dragon to decorate Madrid-Xinhua

MADRID, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) — The Spanish capital city of Madrid is teeming with festive Chinese elements, of which an adorable baby dragon poster is particularly eye-catching, as the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Dragon, starts on Saturday.

The baby dragon in red, yellow and green and with a cute and playful expression emerging from Madrid’s landmark building, the Plaza Cibeles, was designed by Spanish artist Juan Carlos Paz, or Baeka in stage name.

Baeka has created Chinese New Year posters for the Madrid City Council for eight consecutive years. He generally combined the zodiac animals with photographs of Spanish iconic locations and the overlapping layers gave the posters a 3D look.

“We designed the dragon’s horn to look like tree branches with leaves and small mushrooms growing on it, and a wooden seal with the word ‘dragon’ on it,” he explained.

“A friendly, funny, and powerful dragon perched above the city of Madrid symbolizes that Chinese culture embraces Madrid, and Madrid embraces Chinese culture,” said Baeka.

After years of focusing on Chinese zodiac animals, Baeka’s understanding of Chinese culture has also deepened. “We do some research before each creation to honor Chinese culture as much as possible,” he said.

The design at the Year of the Tiger was Baeka’s favorite when his daughter was born. “That year I drew a little female tiger on the poster representing her,” Baeka said.

Baeka said he will continue to design posters of Zodiac animals. “When you spend that much time involved in projects related to a certain culture, you are inevitably drawn to it. I find Chinese culture fascinating and would love to visit China one day,” he said.

Since earlier this month, a series of activities, including concerts, Chinese cuisine experiences, float parades, exhibitions, and folklore fairs have been held in Madrid to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

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