Happy Year of the Monkey!

Every year San Francisco-based artist Niana Liu creates a Chinese New Year puzzle poster based on one of the twelve animals in the Chinese zodiac. The twelve original puzzle diagrams were formed by Qing dynasty scholar Tong Xiegeng, inventor of the fifteen-piece tangram puzzle. Each design shows an arrangement of Tong Xiegeng’s set of fifteen geometric pieces forming one of the zodiac animals, and all twelve diagrams were published in his 1885 book Additional Enhancing Intelligence Diagrams (Yizhi xu tu).

Click on Poster to Enlarge!

2016 - Year of the Monkey
2016 – Year of the Monkey
2015 - Year of the Goat
2015 – Year of the Goat
2014 - Year of the Horse
2014 – Year of the Horse
2013 - Year of the Snake
2013 – Year of the Snake
2012 - Year of the Dragonclick image to enlarge
2012 – Year of the Dragon
2011 - Year of the Rabbit
2011 – Year of the Rabbit

Tong Xiegeng’s Original Zodiac Diagrams

Following are Tong Xiegeng’s original zodiac diagrams. These diagrams were puzzles for his readers to solve using his fifteen tangram pieces. All fifteen pieces had to be used, and none were permitted to overlap. Artist Niana Liu’s Chinese New Year posters show her solutions to the puzzles.

Accompanying each diagram is a quotation from a classical Chinese text or poem.

Rat
Rat
Ox
Ox
Tiger
Tiger
Rabbit
Rabbit
Dragon
Dragon
Snake
Snake
Horse
Horse
Goat
Goat
Monkey
Monkey
Rooster
Rooster
Dog
Dog
Pig
Pig