Meet Series Artist Wuon-Gean Ho
Wuon-Gean Ho is an artist who works in print, books and animation. Based in London, she was a visiting professor in Changsha, China and was awarded the Atelier Presse Papier residency in Québec, Canada in 2017. Her commissions for The Royal Mint draw upon her British Chinese heritage and time spent living and studying in Asia. This is the fifth year she has created a design for the lunar series, The Shengxiào Collection.
The dog Wuon-Gean chose to incorporate into her coin design for 2018 is a terrier. She explained how she came to select this popular breed of dog:
"The dog depicted in this design is a mixed breed, looking like a West Highland White Terrier crossed with a Jack Russell. I wanted to show the energy and exuberance of a more compact dog. Bouncy, full of life and very playful, terriers have a quick intelligence, lots of loyalty and big personalities."
Each year Wuon-Gean includes a hidden story in her designs for The Shengxiào Collection. From the 10 marsh daisies that appeared in 2017, symbolising the Rooster being the tenth sign of the zodiac, to the tree-like Chinese character for sheep that can be found in the background of the coin struck for the Year of the Sheep.
If you look closely, the image behind the leaping terrier in this year’s coin design appears to be a landscape but the background was in fact generated from the nose print of a greyhound belonging to a friend. Wuon-Gean wanted to make a hidden reference to another animal in the coin without adding another figure and this ‘portrait' of a second dog was created using biometric data, as Wuon-Gean explains:
"Nose printing has been a legal form of dog identification in Canada since 1975. In a similar way to fingerprints in people, dogs each have their own unique nose prints."