by Xinhua writers Jiang Jiang and He Xiyue
BEIJING, June 13 (Xinhua) -- A fresh cartoon image of a giant panda named "A Pu" was announced Wednesday as the award-winning work in a global image design competition in Beijing, displaying a youthful, sporty and tech-loving panda.
Personalized as a youngster about to enter college, A Pu shares characteristics which resemble many Chinese youths, according to Wang Tianshi, leader of the emblem's design team based in Beijing.
Not only does A Pu like playing table tennis, but he acts as a tech enthusiast as well, passionate about creating new technology products and sharing innovative ideas with his international friends.
Similar to the pronunciation of "up", the panda's name "A Pu" echoed with the theme of the competition, which is "UPanda, signifying the vitality of the young generation."
The young panda also has a buddy -- A bamboo shape AI robot that can write poems and transform into different tools for teaching.
"The design reflects the attitudes of the new China," said Anthony Christov, former Pixar artistic director. Cooperating with young Chinese artists for the first time, Christov said this work "conveys China's openness to the world."
The competition was jointly launched by the China Intercontinental Communication Center (CICC) and the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda in February. After global netizens polled and 13 experts reviewed the submitted works, panda A Pu won the competition among 2,023 entries from 22 countries.
As 150 years have passed since the giant panda was scientifically discovered in China, the image of this most popular world citizen is constantly evolving. Now artists are wondering what its image will be in young people's eyes.
Li-Ning, a Chinese sports brand, designed a series of comic storyboards of panda A Pu and printed them on the T-shirts.
"We hope to create a panda image from the Chinese perspective. Unlike the panda image in some heroic-themed Hollywood movies, a panda in Chinese people's minds is gentler and peace-loving, bringing people around the world closer together," said Ma Ke, designer of the Li-Ning Archive.
As saving the panda from the brink of extinction is related to the conservation of their habits, it is also not difficult to connect this image with environment protection.
Made out of 24 recycled PET bottles, a joint-named recycled bag with A Pu will be released by Coca-Cola at the end of July, with all the proceeds being donated to the China Green Foundation for giant panda protection, according to Rachel Yu, general manager of publicity, sustainability and social impact of Coca-Cola Greater China.
"The campaign will demonstrate Chinese youths' enthusiasm for environment protection and the mission of building a Green China," said Yu.
Tulenov Ruslan is from Kazakhstan, and he is one of the volunteers for the UPanda Youth Culture Global Promotion Campaign launched by CICC.
"I learned that the panda has actually been regarded as a symbol of friendship since the Tang Dynasty (618-907), and we are all very much looking forward to seeing a China's panda in our own country," Ruslan said, expressing his love and interest in giant pandas to Xinhua.
According to CICC, the production of an animated movie and series based on A Pu are being discussed.
"We all know that real pandas are irreplaceable, and everyone wants to see them, but a cartoon image can also create joy and love for more people around the world where real ones cannot always reach," Zhu Xinnan, a designer in the winning team, told Xinhua.