Architecture Around the World
“May an Old Song Open a New World” mural
SW corner of St-Laurent and René-Lévesque Blvds., Montreal, Canada
New Mural Enhances Gateway to Chinatown
By John Meagher
Montreal Gazette, August 24, 2015
Chinatown got a welcome splash of colour on Monday when a new mural was unveiled by Mayor Denis Coderre.
The eye-catching mural is located at the southwest corner of St-Laurent and René-Lévesque Blvds. next to the arched gateway to Chinatown.
The artwork, a collaborative effort by two local artists of Asian descent — Bryan Beyung and Gene Pendon — is titled “May an Old Song Open a New World.”
Produced by the MU, a charitable non-profit organization whose mandate is to “transform Montreal’s public spaces by creating murals that are rooted in local communities,” the painting features the image of a Chinese female opera singer against a bright red background.
“The central figure is a female singer for the Beijing Opera, and we took different examples of female performers and created a new one,” Pendon explained.
The new mural replaces another one that had seen better days.
The local artists also worked around the presence of a bus shelter that partially blocks the view of a lower section of the mural.
“We designed it so the (opera singer) would be emerging from the bus shelter,” Pendon said.
Elizabeth-Ann Doyle, MU general artistic director Mayor Denis Coderre and Jack W., Lee President of Canada Development Inc. at the presentation of the new mural painted by artists Bryan Beyung and Gene Pendon, at the Chinatown gate.
Pendon hopes the mural will become a welcoming symbol to immigrants from China and other parts of Asia.
“In every city there is a Chinatown, and Chinatown has always symbolized the immigrant experience,” he said. “Coming to a new land, that’s the story of my parents. They’re from the Philippines, but they went through Hong Kong on their way here.”
And should someone happen to tag it, “We’ll fix it,” Beyung said. “It’s made of acrylic.”