Deborah Lau-Yu, Principal & Art Director, Palettera
WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THE DESIGN AND CREATIVE PROCESS REGARDING THE RED LUCKY MONEY POCKETS?
DLY: Palettera is all about meaningful storytelling, to design inspiring art experiences, stationery and objects that bring long-lasting magic to our Canadian community. The lucky money pocket is one of the most widely used print piece at Chinese New Year worldwide. We are determined to elevate, inspire and bring the lucky money pocket to new frontiers through our projects. We have worked with several brands this year to help redefine what their lucky money can be placed in, and it’s exciting to work on cross-cultural visual language that not only celebrates the Chinese culture, but makes it relevant and piques the interest of the Canadian audiences at large.
As the publishers of Fête Chinoise Magazine, culture, tradition, and history is naturally at the heart of what we love to dialogue about. This year’s lucky money pocket campaign for Yee Hong Foundation celebrates the caregivers, as well as the memories made by all the wonderful seniors that the Foundation assists. In this limited-edition series of lucky money pockets, we set a heartfelt precedence by featuring illustrations of the residents on the front of the pocket design. These vignettes are just a few examples of the happiness, joy, and dignity of growing old in love. Whether it is a game of mahjong with neighbours, an old couple dining together, looking at family photos, or enjoying a game of chess with a grandchild, the blessings are abundant in every moment.
In an age when the digital landscape consumes our lives, time seems to evaporate into the screens of social media. But as humans, we long for a physical and emotional connection, and this project is precisely about reconnecting our hearts with something tactile and meaningful. This lucky money project represents the intersection of time, relationships, love, and respect, all manifested into precious keepsakes that permanently capture moments of time spent in the presence of others at Yee Hong. Each piece is illustrated based on scenarios from real life experiences, lovingly hand-crafted and pressed in-house in our studio.
HOW DID YOU DECIDE ON THE FABRIC?
DLY: In some of our projects, we use a fabric-textured paper and it allows us to have a tactile and memorable texture in the work.
WAS THE FABRIC IMPORTED FROM CHINA?
DLY: No, the paper was from a Canadian supplier and adorned with our print. In all of our designs, we do refer to cultural and historical references to capture the nuances and to create something authentic and relevant.
WHAT IS THE DRAGON BALL? HOW DID THIS CONTRIBUTE TO THE OVERALL CREATIVE EXPERIENCE?
DLY: The Dragon Ball is Yee Hong Foundation’s annual gala to fundraise for all the wonderful work they do for seniors in our community across Toronto, Mississauga, Scarborough, Markham, and Richmond Hill. It is significant because we have a lot of old friends there since my late grandmother had lived there as a resident for several years. Each year, the Ball takes place around Chinese New Year, and brings together some movers and shakers in the community to come and support a worthy cause while ringing in the New Year.
We worked with HSBC to create iconic centrepieces for this year’s gala. We don’t want to give away what it is exactly, but each one is a unique keepsake piece of art that guests can take home or take back to the office to bring inspiration and good fortune.
We’re thrilled to be able to tie in our passion for culture and design to be involved with our community. It’s important in every event to relentlessly pursue concepts that are intriguing, authentic and compelling so that the guest experience is memorable.
ARE YOU ATTENDING THE DRAGON BALL THIS YEAR? IF SO, WHAT WILL YOU BE WEARING?
DLY: Yes! I will be attending the ball this year, and plan on arriving in a piece by David Dixon paired with a jacket from Søsken with a simple vintage Chinese bracelet and classic pumps.
DO YOU HAVE ANY INSIDE SCOOP ON CELEBRITIES SCHEDULED TO MAKE AN APPEARANCE?
DLY: Last year, we were in the presence of famed Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as well as many influential members of our community. We hope to see them again this year!
WHAT’S YOUR MOST MEMORABLE PROJECT?
DLY: The best is yet to come! There are so many wonderful projects this past year and we are working on a number of galas and branding projects this year. Some notable projects include the work we do for the David Foster Foundation Miracle Gala, Suzanne Rogers Presents, the Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards, branding for restaurants and campaigns including the Bosk patio at Shangri-La Toronto, and of course Fête Chinoise.