1 Utama Dragon Year Decoration.

The Chinese New year decoration at 1 Utama is a continuation from their Christmas theme. This time they have put up a cute baby water dragon in a clam-shell at their main concourse area.  Most of the structures used for the Christmas decoration were reused except the sea fairies and their Christmas ornaments which were off duty now.

Many had complained that 1Utama shopping mall recycled their Christmas decoration for the Chinese New Year and some questioned why a water dragon. In western mythology the dragon is a fire spitting fiery evil monster that lived in barren land, in deep mountain cave and in the dungeon. However Chinese dragon or "Lóng"  is not the same beast as the western dragon. The Lóng is an angelic being that lived in the four corners of the sea or in heaven.

1U Dragon replica for 2012 CNY celebration.
1 Utama shopping mall's Dragon Year decoration for 2012 is that of a baby water dragon sitting inside  a clam-shell at the concourse area. Camera: Olympus Pen Lite E-PL2, Lens: M.Zuiko 40-150mm F/4-5.8 ED MSC tele-zoom lens, taken at 40mm 1/80s F/5.0 ISO 640.

Secondly every Chinese year is attached to an animal sign in the Chinese Zodiac and each year is also linked with an element in WuXing. In English WuXing is translated as the "Five Elements". However WuXing is something more complicating than just the five elements. The Chinese word Wu is five, Xing means changing or moving so WuXing is more of the five changes or five moving forces. However the "changing forces" of WuXing are represented by the five elements of metal, wood, water, fire and earth.

Close-up of 1Utama CNY dragon decoratopn.
The half length portrait shot of the 1 Utama water dragon replica for the dragon year celebration. -- Camera: Olympus Pen Lite E-PL2. Lens: M.Zuiko 40-150mm F/4-5.8 ED MSC  tele-zoom lens, taken at 82mm 1/125s F/5.0 ISO1250

This year as everyone already know by now that it is the year of dragon and as for the WuXing for 2012 it is linked to the water element. Therefore this year is the year of water dragon. 1 Utama got it right with their babe water dragon New Year decoration at their main concourse area. They probably have planned in advance and got the Christmas theme to fit in their bigger water dragon plan. It is less likely to be the other way round as some had commented they recycled the Christmas Deco. It makes more sense of a water splashing theme for the Chinese dragon year than the bizarre Christmas under-the-sea theme. Nevertheless in my opinion I think the 1Utama Christmas theme of "Splashing over the Big Blue" was quite well received.

CHinese New year Dragon Decoration at 1Utama
It is all red for the 2012 Chinese New Year decoration at 1Utama -  everything is red from the floor at the main concourse area to the artificial seaweeds. -- Camera: Olympus Pen Lite E-PL2. Lens: M.Zuiko 40-150mm F/4-5.8 ED tele-zoom lens, taken at 41mm 1/100s F/5.6 ISO1250

One thing we don't feel natural about this water dragon Deco in 1Utama is the overwhelming red surrounding the baby dragon. So much so that the red seaweed looked more like fire. While the baby water dragon theme is the right thing for 2012 but the 1 Utama water dragon looked as if it was visiting his cousin the fire dragon's home for this Chinese New Year.

2012 Dragon year decoration at 1U shopping mall
The 1Utama baby dragon is golden in colour and everything else is in shades of red or pink. The traditional Chinese New Year colour -- Camera: Olympus Pen E-P1, lens: M.Zuiko 17mm F/2.8 pancake lens taken at 1/80s F/4.0 ISO500

The brightly lighted giant pearl that the baby dragon was holding tend to create some under-exposure in most cameras when auto exposure is used. Some exposure compensation is required here. The overwhelming red also seems to throw the white balance of most cameras out. The older Pen E-P1 tends to handle the white balance here more effectively than the Olympus Pen Lite E-PL2.

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