Starting now, I will be tracking the progress of the China Steps Mural, a project made possible through funding from the City of Nanaimo Temp. Public Art grant, the Nanaimo Heritage Commission, and the DNBIA.
The piece is an historic mural inspired by traditional Chinese art representing Nanaimo’s third Chinatown, framed by the coastal landscape. It is informed by photographs, footage, Chinese painting, and mythology, with one animal for each direction: Black Tortoise (North), Azure Dragon (East), Vermillion Bird (South), and White Tiger (West). The September 1960 Fire is depicted by the red bird and residents shown with suitcases. The White Tiger and the buildings acknowledge the Chinese business community. The Street scene includes the “Pine & Hecate” street sign indicating the original location of Chinatown in Nanaimo, a lion dance, and a few onlookers, all from historic photos courtesy of Nanaimo Community Archives.
The presence of this mural will bring much-needed colour and heritage to a unique site of interest. The site was enhanced by Nadine when she painted a mandala mural in similar colours for the Thirsty Camel Café (photo) – on the wall behind the cob bench, which directly faces the site for the new mural.
The final size of the piece will be 8′ H x 12′ W, consisting of 3 pieces of professional sign board, with a hidden timber frame on the back. Right now it is being prepared for painting, getting 2 coats of white primer before being assembled for layout and painting.
The piece will be installed April 30, in time for Public Art Week May 1-7! Very exciting process – keep up with me as I post my progress!