New Chinatown mural is building bridges through art and community (PHOTOS)
A new mural has been painted in the heart of Chinatown with the hopes of increasing awareness of the culture in the neighbourhood.
Fu Lu Shou Xi, created by Vancouver-based Chinese Canadian illustrator and mural artist, Carolyn Wong, can be found on the southeast corner of Main and Pender Street on Ten Ren Tea & Ginseng Company.
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The artwork was recently unveiled by Vancouver Chinatown Business Improvement Association (VCBIA) and VMF, producers of Vancouver Mural Festival. It is the first piece in the Chinatown Mural Project, spotlighting local artists while adding vibrancy back to the area.
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“There has been significant media attention on graffiti as a big problem in Chinatown,” says Jordan Eng, President of the VCBIA in a release. “We needed to view this problem through a new lens by bringing visual arts and culture together and enhancing our neighbourhood.
“VMF has been building bridges among communities, and Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is the cultural institution in Chinatown. By working together, we can bring better understanding to our culture.”
Fu Lu Shou Xi is displayed on Ten Ren Tea & Ginseng Company’s six rolling shutters, which were previously tagged repeatedly with graffiti. The vibrant colours depict a tea plantation landscape, wildlife, and four traditional Chinese blessings of fortune, success, prosperity, and longevity.
Each panel of Wong’s mural resembles a red pocket which is given to friends and family during Lunar New Year and other celebratory events to wish them a prosperous future.
“Being located on the major crossroad in Chinatown, we want the mural to be a symbol of peace and harmony with our neighbours,” said Henry Huang of Ten Ren Tea, who helped develop the theme of the project.
According to Lorraine Lowe, Executive Director for the Dr. Sun Yat Classical Chinese Garden, art can help build bridges within communities.
“How we express ourselves together is vital for the survival of Chinatown, our history, and our cultural heritage. We hope this first mural is just the start to many more,” Lowe added.
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