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This beautiful brand new mural can help change the narrative about graffiti in Chinatown

"We want the mural to be a symbol of peace and harmony with our neighbours."
The Chinatown Mural Project 2
"Fu Lu Shou Xi" is a mural created by Vancouver-based Chinese Canadian illustrator and mural artist, Carolyn Wong.

Some significant local forces have teamed up to help change the narrative about Chinatown.

The Chinatown Mural Project is the result of a new collaboration between the Vancouver Chinatown Business Improvement Association (VCBIA) and VMF, producers of the Vancouver Mural Festival, and the first new mural is ready for the public's eyes. The goal: re-frame the current perspective that Chinatown has been brought down by endless graffiti - especially that of an anti-Asian nature.

Located at the southeast corner of Main and Pender, "Fu Lu Shou Xi" is a mural created by Vancouver-based Chinese Canadian illustrator and mural artist Carolyn Wong. The artwork graces the six rolling shutters of Ten Ren Tea & Ginseng Company, a business that has been a longstanding fixture in the vibrant neighbourhood. 

Those same shutters have been the target of several instances of tagging in recent years.

“There has been significant media attention on graffiti as a big problem in Chinatown,” says Jordan Eng, President of the VCBIA in a media release“We needed to view this problem through a new lens by bringing visual arts and culture together and enhancing our neighbourhood."

“Being located on the major crossroad in Chinatown, we want the mural to be a symbol of peace and harmony with our neighbours," says Henry Huang of Ten Ren Tea, who helped determine the theme of the mural.

At the Main Street entrance of the shop, passersby will see an artistic depiction of a tea plantation landscape, featuring signature rolling hills in the countryside. On Pender Street, the panels offer four traditional Chinese blessings, known as “Fu Lu Shou Xi.” Fu Is the blessing of fortune; Lu is the blessing of success and prosperity; Shou is the blessing of longevity represented through the cranes; and Xi is the blessing of happiness often represented by peonies. Each panel resembles a celebratory red pocket which is given to friends and family to wish them a prosperous future.

“Art can help build bridges within communities,” adds Lorraine Lowe, Executive Director for the Dr. Sun Yat Classical Chinese Garden. “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.”