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Love Stories on Stamps
Text by Lu Zhou Photographs courtesy of Lin Yiwei

 

A love stamp issued in South Korea features strong Oriental flavor.nia.     In 2007, the Year of Ox, Australia issued stamps depicting a Chinese love fairytale between a herder and a weaving maid – a metaphor for a couple living separately.     Fingerprints of Love, 2006, South Korea.

LOVE, the world’s first “love” Valentine’s Day stamp.       A rose-themed stamp.

In 2009, Lin Yiwei donated all of his collection, with a value topping 10 million yuan, to Yiyuan County.

“They are my kids,” smiles Lin. “They were my family when they were young - one or two years old. But now that they’re over 20 years old, they should enter society and find appreciation from more than just me.”

 “A few times, I even flew to France just to get their postmark on my favorite love stamps,” he continues. “And I don’t mind waiting at a post office there.”

Lin has made many friends involved with stamps. He pays for advanced prints of the latest issues. Sometimes he had to trade some of his collection to acquire others’ favorites. Because of this, now he often buys several sets of special stamps, just in case. “I particularly love those with postmarks,” he explains, “because it means that love has already been passed with it.”

Stamp collecting is not his profession. He has published a number of books of poems and fairytales. After one became a bestseller, the publisher couldn’t wait for his next work.

Lin has nurtured his passion for life and love, which is embodied by his many stamps of roses.

“Roses are like women,” he claims, “and they are born symbols for love.”

His collection includes miscellaneous amour from around the world: a perfumed series from Thailand, diamond-studded roses from Hungary, oddly-shaped roses from Japan, and miniature sheet of roses from Iraq, among many others.

“They safeguard the good old days with my wife.”

In 2010, Lin Yiwei started touring the world to display his collection. “I hope to establish a charitable fund with what I earn from my tours.” He began his journey in New York, before dropping in on Beijing, Guangzhou, and Jinan, the provincial seat of Shandong.

You too may soon get a chance to admire his collection with your own eyes.   

 

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