All four signal box locations explore Time in different ways; from traditional Chinese calligraphy with historical photos of Chinatown, and the history shared by Tsúùt’ínà artist about his ancestor Chief Bullhead and Fort Calgary, to stylised tigers inspired by the colours of Cantonese opera, to age-old medicinal remedies that have survived many generations, to contemporary Canto phraseology and street calligraphy.
This is the last two of four locations, completing the artwalk circuit. Enjoy!
Janice Wu is an artist and illustrator currently living in New Westminster, BC. She holds a BFA from Emily Carr University. Her work explores the ways in which meaning and value are assigned to things in the material realm, and the poetic possibilities of the ordinary. janice-wu.com
𝘛𝘪𝘮𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘏𝘦𝘢𝘭 is a response to the xenophobia and violence that arose during the pandemic against Asian Canadians and the wounds that have reverberated in our community from it. The most recent wave of anti-Asian hate across Canada is a stark reminder of our racialized dark history, echoing past traumas and inflictions that are part of Chinatown’s origins in this country. Chinese Herbal Medicine, with its rich history and language, has always been a source of wisdom and care: for balance of energy in the body, restoration, and as prevention and remedy for illnesses. 𝘛𝘪𝘮𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘏𝘦𝘢𝘭 suggests that perhaps our communities need the same care–an approach that is holistic when it comes to fighting systemic racism and recovering from generational trauma. This healing process takes time, balance, practice and is marked with bitterness–as medicine often is.
The last utility box at Centre Street S. & 2nd Avenue SE, Calgary is shared by 馬鳳齡 Fung Ling Feimo and seth cardinal dodginghorse, each designing two sides. Fung Ling’s design includes historical photos of Chinatown on two sides of the box, with the Chinese YMCA and Mission.
seth cardinal dodginghorse is a multidisciplinary artist, experimental musician and graduate of the Alberta University of the Arts. He grew up eating dirt and exploring the forest on his family’s ancestral land on the Tsúùt’ínà nation. His work explores his own experiences of displacement and family history.
seth cardinal dodginghorse’s 𝙩𝙧𝙪𝙩𝙝 𝘣𝘦𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝙧𝙚𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙘𝙞𝙡𝙞𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣 speaks about how that colonial history affected his family, especially through the pass system which controlled people on Reserves. There’s an image from the late 1800’s of his Tsúùt’ínà ancestors Xakiji-tii (Chief) Bullhead and his wife.
Fung Ling recognises it as a way of bringing seth’s ancestors to Chinatown, to return to the banks of the Bow River. This time, without the need for a pass.
With the addition of the new artwork, the project captures where we’re coming from and the journey that brought us here. We are restoring what has been erased and reclaiming the narrative. The stories belong to us.
The project acknowledges the support of the City of Calgary Community-Initiated Public Art Microprojects grant. The Utility Box Stories project offers sincere gratitude to supporters from the community and Tomorrow’s Chinatown Advisory Group.
For more information on this mural visit:
Where to Find This Mural
Location: 3rd Avenue Southeast & 1st Street Southeast, Calgary, AB T2G 0B7, Canada Get Directions