A mural completed just five weeks ago in Vancouver’s Chinatown is now gone after falling to vandalism on Sunday morning.
The artwork, titled “Fu Lu Shou Xi” and created by artist Carolyn Wong, was located on the Ten Ren Tea and Ginseng Company building at the southeast corner of Main and Pender Streets.
The Vancouver Chinatown Business Improvement Association (BIA) commissioned the multi-panel mural in partnership with the Vancouver Mural Festival and the historic Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden.
“It’s really disheartening to see this sort of activity and we see it on a regular basis,” BIA President Jordan Eng told CTV News Vancouver. “It’s property damage. It creates a perception in the neighbourhood that we don’t care — and we do care.”
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, known as the first Chinese or “scholar’s” garden built outside China, was also heavily vandalized back in January. Executive Director Lorraine Lowe denounced the latest incident.
“It was nice while it lasted,” Lowe tweeted. “Five weeks before someone decided to vandalize and disrespect this beautifully curated cultural mural celebrating community.”
On May 20, the gate leading into the garden and the Chinese Cultural Centre was also vandalized with the word “Shhh.” Some reportedly linked the incident to a poster near the area that said, “Don’t cry for the broken windows and feces, cry for the people killed by the VPD.”
The latest graffiti involved bubble letters reportedly found elsewhere in the city. Bradley Spence, who owns nearby e-scooter store Eevee, is frustrated over the incident.
“They just painted that. It’s a beautiful mural and to see it defaced so quickly, like weeks after they just painted it, it’s a shame,” Spence told Global News.
Spence’s has released his store’s surveillance footage of the vandal in action. The footage shows the spray-painting began at around 4:28 a.m. and lasted for more than 15 minutes, according to Daily Hive.
Fortunately, the mural was protected with a layer of anti-vandalism coating, according to the Vancouver Mural Festival. The graffiti is expected to be cleaned and the mural is to be restored.
Spence, who reported the incident to police, pleaded for vandals to stop.
“Please stop. You’re not hurting the city, you’re hurting these small businesses that are employing fellow Vancouverites. It’s just really frustrating,” he told CTV News.