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Wall painting celebrates the Year of the Horse

Horace Hsu works on the Year of the Horse 3D Wall Painting. - Katya Slepian
Horace Hsu works on the Year of the Horse 3D Wall Painting.
— image credit: Katya Slepian

Usually the audience only gets to see an artist’s finished work but Emily Carr University of Art & Design students Nicolas Yung, Horace Hsu and Rita Fei put worked on their Year of the Horse 3D Wall Painting in public at Parker Place mall.

“It’s like a stage performance,” says Yung of the production, which took about six long days to put together.

Located in the food court, Yung says that “the idea is that this painting will have the same architecture and proportions” as the scene behind it. “It’s actually the same place inside this painting and this [mall] behind it, visually merging Chinese culture and Canadian culture together.”

That element of merging cultures together is especially important for Fei. She thinks that for a lot of generation immigrants like herself, “there’s a disconnect from the original culture but now I’m seeing it in a new light.”

This year is the Year of the Horse and the meaning behind that was significant to the three students.

“Horses represent energy, effort and encouragement,” according to Yung, and it was important for the students to incorporate that meaning into their work, which went through several different design phases before settling on the idea of three horses in a traditional Chinese background.

“There was a lot of improvisation,” says Hsu, “we really tried to play with perspective.”

“It’s a melding of different cultures and customs,” added Fei, which she believes is “particularly important in RIchmond, with its high density of immigrants.”

According to Yung, projects like this are also good for the city as a whole, since “malls don’t actually accept visual art that often but we figured out a way to balance the visual and the commercial together so it’s a good start” and lays the groundwork for more projects in the future.

Chinese New Year starts today, but the wall painting will be up for an entire year. To find more information about the painting and other events taking place at Parker Place for Chinese New Year, visit www.parkerplace.com/events.

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