Chinatown-International District (CID) community members gathered in Hing Hay Park on December 9, 2019, to celebrate a new art piece in the park, the Celebrate Happiness Lantern.

During the community engagement process for the Hing Hay Park expansion between 2013 and 2016, the CID community expressed a desire to have an artistic signage to communicate the name and meaning of Hing Hay Park. Translated into English, “Hing Hay” means “celebrate happiness.”

After the expansion was completed in 2017, the Friends Of Hing Hay Park facilitated a request for qualifications process, and local artist George Lee was hired to design and build a public art piece for Hing Hay Park.

Throughout 2018, George, SCIDpda, and the Friends Of group conducted a comprehensive community engagement program that resulted in the final design, inspired by a sky lantern.

The design is an eight-sided aluminum red lantern with bright yellow signage and gold trim. On three faces primary text is displayed, each on one face: 慶喜公園, Hing Hay Park, and Celebrate Happiness. On two panels, adjacent on each side of primary text panels, are additional languages of communities within the CID. At night, the lettering is illuminated, and all of the same languages are projected below the lantern on the ground below.

This was an exciting collaboration between artist and community to showcase the festivity of the Park’s name for all to understand and appreciate in different languages, and in the sculptural, illuminated interpretation form of a sky lantern.

This event was sponsored by Seattle Parks and Recreation. This project is funded by the Seattle Office of Economic Development and administered by SCIDpda.

All photography is by Ronn Meriales. 

The Celebrate Happiness Lantern features 10 languages and their respective translations of “celebrate happiness.” The languages include Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Laotian, Tagalog, Baybayin, Lushootseed, Khmer, Korean, and English. Photo by Ronn Meriales
Friends of Hing Hay Park co-chairs Tuck Eng (center) and Jeff Hou (left) share their experience working on the project. Cantonese interpretation was provided by Brian Liu (right). Photo by Ronn Meriales
Rachtha Danh basks in the light of ground projection element with “celebrate happiness” translated into 10 languages. Languages were selected through a two-year long community outreach and engagement process. Photo by Ronn Meriales
Firecrackers were lit to kick off the unveiling of the Celebrate Happiness Lantern, located in between the old and new halves Hing Hay Park. Photo by Ronn Meriales
Community members gathered at Hing Hay Park on Monday, December 9th to celebrate the completion of a new public art piece: the Celebrate Happiness Lantern. Photo by Ronn Meriales
Members from the Friends of Hing Hay Park (FOHHP) pose for a photo with the lantern and the artist, George Lee (bottom right). FOHHP met regularly with George Lee over the course of two years to discuss and advise on the design of the lantern. Photo by Ronn Meriales

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