Wow, China at the Washington State Fair

By Assunta Ng, Northwest Asian Weekly

I consider Luminasia at the Washington State Fair amazingly avant garde and dramatically in the style of Chihuly.

Inspired by the art of Chinese lanterns, Luminasia transformed a piece of dull land into a Chinese garden with glowing objects, including a gigantic dragon boat, a bridge, pagodas, koi fish, lotus flowers, frogs, and butterflies. Lanterns in Chinese culture are used to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival — also known as the Moon Cake Festival — and now is the perfect time for such a display.

The dramatic entryway to Luminasia is marked with lit Japanese waves and a flare of the Northwest, featuring Mt. Rainier, the Space Needle, and dramatic Totem Poles. Visitors couldn’t believe what they were seeing! I heard people saying, “Wow,” “It’s so cool,” and “It’s beautiful!”

The lanterns reminded me of my childhood during the days of the Moon Cake Festivals. I would pray, “Please God, no rain,” since the animal-shaped lanterns were made of paper, and were lit by candles. The good thing is, rain can’t ruin the fair’s lanterns as they are made of waterproof materials.

More than 40 Chinese artists from Sichuan came to Puyallup a month ago to help make and install the pieces of illuminated art. Some smaller pieces were made in China and then shipped to Seattle. While some artisans had gone back to China, a crew of over 10 stay behind to maintain the show.

If you haven’t yet visited Washington State Fair this year, you should. Remember to stay after 7 p.m. for Luminasia to see the lights. The show might not be there next year. It will travel to Long Beach after Oct. 13. Each piece of artwork is for sale after the exhibit.

(This article was originally printed in the Northwest Asian Weekly. Click Here to read the original article.)