by: Rita A. Leonard The large Pink Dragon mural at S.E. 61st and Foster Road, says the artist, celebrates the diverse animals, cultures, and seasons of our planet. And, 2012 is the Chinese “Year of the Dragon”, too.

A long, colorful Pink Dragon painted on the east wall of Paldo Oriental Market, 6112 S.E. Foster Road, was completed this fall. The business carries oriental specialty foods, as well as a large selection of Korean videos on grammar and movies.

The 90-foot-long mural was designed by Portland State University Adjunct Professor Una Kim, originally from South Korea. Student volunteers from PSU and PCC helped paint the mural.

The mural presents a detailed image of a mythical dragon, celebrating the animals, cultures, and seasons of the earth.

The traditional Chinese or Lunar New Year, generally occurring in January or February, is considered by many Asian cultures to be the most important holiday of the year. It covers a two-week period with a special focus for each day. The first day is for honoring the deities of heaven and earth, as well as one's ancestors. In 2012, the holiday begins on January 23, under the sign of the Dragon.

The artist explains that the Pink Dragon mural integrates a unique collection of images of the earth, reminding us of the richness of our planet. 'So many different memories are woven into 'The Pink Dragon',' says Kim. 'I like the animals and different countries represented in the mural, which incorporate the many cultures in our neighborhood. It is my gift to the community.'

In addition to diverse creatures of the earth, the mural details cultural images from Thailand, Mexico, Russia, Africa, and Pacific Northwest 'first people'.

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