Meet Kang Kang, China’s mascot for this year’s Spring Festival Gala. If you aren’t a fan of the design, well, you’re not alone. After his unveiling last week, Chinese social media was flooded with criticism over the 3D uglification of the original sorta cute monkey design.
Ironically, Kang Kang’s name translates to “healthy” in English, but one can suppose it’s hard to have any faith in a creature that seems to have both the colors of jaundice and chemical poisoning spilled evenly on both sides of its creepy face.
Web users also couldn’t help but notice the monkey’s resemblance to a stoplight, with one netizen deeming it: “The monster of traffic lights!” Another reckoned that it had to be “designed by a traffic cop.”
Photoshopped images of Kang Kang show some much better attempts at design from online users, with one even managing to craft an adorable Kang Kang head:
The Spring Festival Gala on CCTV has been a Chinese tradition since 1983. Last year’s sheep mascot was the first one to be shown on the show.
The original designer of the monkey, Han Meilin, who also designed the 2008 Beijing Olympic mascots, said through WeChat that he was only responsible for the monkey’s head and had no input on the final version.
In the Chinese Zodiac, the monkey is a symbol of wisdom, and Han claimed his own design combines Chinese tradition with the atmosphere of new year and the childish traits of China’s most famous monkey, the Monkey King, from the literary epic “Journey to the West.”
“I would like to take this chance to promote the image of monkey as a Chinese cultural icon around the world,” he said. “Disney is famous for a mouse. So why should’t we create a monkey?”
But not all netizens hate the design, with one tolerant soul saying: “I think the original painting of the monkey’s face is OK, before they made it into a figure.”
Well, whoever chose the final design clearly wasn’t born in the Year of the Monkey, as this choice was far from wise, though to be honest, it’s not as bad as this one.
By Kitty Lai
[Images via Weibo]