‘Libr-hare-ian’ Wang Celebrates Lunar Year of the Rabbit, 4708

By Purnell T. Cropper | February 8, 2011

The lunar new year arrived rabbitly this year with the—now annual—wearing of the mask by Sciences Librarian Calvin Wang. When the year began last Thursday, Wang could be found in character at the reference desk of Landman Library sporting this year’s mask, complete with bright yellow ears, for the Chinese Year of the Rabbit, 4708.

The Chinese zodiac is based on a 12-year cycle. Wang started his tradition four years ago with the rat, the first animal in the zodiac. He hand makes his masks from recycled food packaging foam built on a system of plastic straps cut from milk jugs. This year’s mask took more than 30 hours of work. He begins with pictures of the animal of the year then uses his imagination to build up the shape and final appearance. The mask covers his head completely, but the face can rotate up so that he can work while still in character. As for working completely in character, the suit stays, he insists. Bunny suits don’t count.

To see his previous masks, go to the following links: rat, ox, tiger. Next year is the Year of the Dragon.