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Community seeks support from graffiti artists after repairing defaced Vancouver Chinatown mural

April 28, 2022

By Vancouver Sun |

The ‘Eight Immortals Crossing the Sea’ mural in Chinatown that was defaced by graffiti has been repaired, and in its wake, the community is seeking support against graffiti tagging on artwork and property belonging to the area’s businesses and organizations.

More than a hundred people from within and outside the Chinatown community joined a recent “repair event” to fix the mural, according to organizers.

It had originally taken four artists nearly 12 hours a day over two weeks to create the mural. In late March, it was destroyed when graffiti taggers covered parts of it and the signage of a nearby, small bookstore with large, black bubbles and scribbles.

Those who came out to paint over damaged sections of the mural included other Chinatown artists, tenants, residents, business owners and members of various associations. There were also some city councillors and others shocked by the defacing of the mural, which had been commissioned to promote cultural redress and mitigate graffiti.

The incident pushed the frail, 77-year-old owner of Liang You Book Co., a Chinese-language bookstore on East Georgia that has been operating for more than 40 years, to talk about the mental stress of repeated and unchecked vandalism on small, legacy business owners in Chinatown like himself and the need for accountability.

“There was a sense of so many different parts of the community and city being part of the mural and protecting,” what it symbolizes, said Katherine Yi, one of the artists and member of a Vancouver collective called the Bagua Artist Association.

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