Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Neighborhoods
  3. Community Issues

Singpoli connects two cultures at the 2014 Rose Parade with Tianma

See also

In the Chinese zodiac, there is a wood horse, a fire horse, and horses for earth, metal and water, but there is no flower horse—at least not until the 2014 Rose Parade, when Singpoli and Paradiso Parade Floats brought two flying steeds down Colorado Blvd.

More Photos

Singpoli is a Pasadena-based corporation that began as a construction company and now includes architecture, design, development, investment, construction, brokerage, asset management and finance with a focus on transpacific business. Their commitment to connecting Asian and American cultures is reflected in the theme chosen for their first Rose Parade float, “Connecting Cultures, Delivering Dreams.”

The 2014 entry, designed by Charles Meier, won the Extraordinaire Trophy for Most Spectacular Float (Including Floats That Do Not Retract To 55'). It depicted two Tianma, legendary winged celestial horses of China, taking flight from the deck of the float.

“Singpoli was about to move forward with a completely different design,” Meier told us. About a day before the design was to be presented to the Tournament of Roses for approval, “they called and said they wanted to change but didn’t know what they wanted.” Meier suggested Tianma and they snapped it up.

“They liked it for two reasons: 2014 is the year of the horse, and Singpoli is committed to connections between the East and West, being a link in the real estate industry between Asia and North America,” Meier said. “They liked that in Tianma, Westerners could see Pegasus.”

The wings, spanning 22 feet, were animated to simulate flying. Paradiso obtained a variance from the Tournament to allow them to go beyond the regulation 18 feet maximum. The Tianma’s snowy coats were realized in coconut flakes and dendrobium orchid florets.

According to legend, Tianma were the swiftest and most beautiful of horses. They became the favorite mounts of the emperor and the Chinese court, and are especially associated with the Han Dynasty and Emperor Han Wudi.

Also present on the float were a cluster of red and gold buildings, created with carnations and strawflowers and a 31-foot-high central white pagoda surrounded by doves on the wing, with Chinese cranes for longevity and lotus blossoms for purity and perfection nestled in the lush garden.

Flowering included tens of thousands of scarlet roses, sprays of hundreds of anthurium, ginger, protea, calathea and heliconia, and orchids (dendrobium, cattleya, mokara, phalaenopsis, vanda) cascading from flowering trees.

“Singpoli knew off the bat it wanted something gorgeous,” Meier said. “It’s a wonderful way for Singpoli to introduce itself not only to the United States, but to the world.”

Like this story?
Columnists are not notified of comments via Disqus, so if you have a question or would like a reply to your comment, please post on Facebook at All Things Rose Parade or email lbmonteros@yahoo.com. The theme of the 125th Rose Parade and 100th Rose Bowl Game on Wednesday, Jan.1, 2014 is “Dreams Come True.” Subscribe to Tournament of Roses Examiner by clicking the "Subscribe" link for the latest news and for upcoming announcements.

Advertisement

Life

  • Dead babies found
    Seven dead babies were found in Utah resident Megan Huntsman's old home
    Video
    Shocking Discovery
  • Kendall Jenner
    Get the Coachella looks: Kendall Jenner’s nose ring, green hair and edgy nails
    Camera
    Coachella Look
  • Dog's Easter basket
    How to fill your dog’s Easter basket with the perfect toys
    Easter Basket
  • Rabbit owners
    Bringing home the bunny: Important information for rabbit owners
    Camera
    7 Photos
  • Haunted island
    The world’s most haunted island may soon be the most haunted luxury resort
    Haunted Resort
  • Sunken ferry
    Search continues for missing passengers after a ferry sinks off the South Korean coast
    Video
    Sunken Ferry

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about Examiner.com and apply today!