I was driving with my dad today down Clark and noticed a 4 foot high "N" balanced against a series of trucks. ???
Then I remembered Ken Lum's plan for this sculpture...
Here is the article I found in the Vancouver Sun's website:
VANCOUVER — A symbolically rich sign of East Vancouver's marginality and defiance will soon be going up on a high-profile site at the corner of Clark and East 6th Avenue.
The public art work by artist Ken Lum is called Monument for East Vancouver. Placed on a ridge looking down on the False Creek flats, the 20-metre tall work will spell out — in the form of a cross — the phrase "East Van" with the two words sharing and crossing at the "a." The words will be lit by white LED lights and surrounded in an outline of white LED lights. With the cross-shaped phrase mounted on a silver base, the words should look like they're floating in space. The monument should also be visible for kilometres in several directions but especially to anyone approaching the eastside from the west.
Lum said in an interview that he's had an idea in his head for years to do something with the phrase which has been appearing on the eastside for decades.
"It's kind of an underground icon," he said.
"I wouldn't classify it as graffiti but it is the kind of signifier you'd see appear sporadically on sidewalks in chalk or behind grocery stores. It's never been formalized or recognized so I thought that was interesting."
Lum recalls seeing the phrase while growing up on the eastside. He also talked to someone almost 80 who recalls seeing it as far back as the 1940s and 1950s. But Lum couldn't discover its actual historic origins such as who started writing it and why.
The cross form does have a religious connotation but one that's cancelled out by the sacrilegious content, Lum said. In some situations, the phrase would be accompanied by the word "Rules."
"There was a double entendre: 'Rules' meant 'You enter the territory of East Vancouver, and you play by our rules.' There's also a somewhat different meaning of East Vancouver Rules — that the east side of the city runs the city which isn't true. It's rich symbol.
"It's that richness that I'd like to believe kept it alive all these decades. I think a lot of people will notice it and talk about it and not just advance public art but also what it means in terms of a bifurcated city."
The corner of East Sixth and Clark wasn't his first choice. He wanted something on Main Street but after a community review, the city decided on the prominent spot-on city-owned land in an industrial area. The city hopes to have the monument installed by mid-December.
Monument for East Vancouver is different from traditional monuments that tend to go in the centre of neighbourhoods rather than on the edge. Technically, it will be blocks away from the dividing line near Main Street but Lum said with gentrification and the real estate boom, the class border between east and west has migrated eastward in recent years.
Monument for East Vancouver is part of the city's $800,000 Mapping and Marking section of the larger Olympic and Paralympic Public Art Program. What makes Mapping and Marking different from other public art initiatives is that the ideas and sites for the works have originated with artists rather with arts administrators or city officials. Other works going up around the city before the 2010 Winter Olympics include Kingsway Luminaries, six LED-lit hand-cast white forms based on historic street lights that change colour from dawn to dusk on medians east and west of Knight Street, and Surface, a live broadcast of underwater life of False Creek transmitted from a camera mounted under an Aquabus to a screen on top of the bus.
Lum is one of the city's most celebrated artists whose work is in demand all around the world. Two years ago he completed a work called Pi where he installed 14 mirrored panels that reflected passersby in a 130-metre-long pedestrian passageway in the subway system in Vienna. Next year on Jan. 29, Lum's new public art piece will be officially unveiled in Utretcht, The Netherlands. Called Jan. 1, 1960, the 7-metre tall globe of the world shows the political boundaries of countries in 1960, the year when the greatest number of former colonies achieved political independence from their colonial rulers. It's going into a massive new community and education centre in a multi-ethnic area where the Dutch colonial office was once located.
Locally, people can see another example of Lum's work Four Boats Stranded: Red and Yellow, Black and White on top of the Vancouver Art Gallery. The four boats refer to the various waves of immigrants to Vancouver from the four directions of the compass.
Vancouver is lucky to get East Vancouver Monument. Lum said he doesn't usually submit to public art projects — especially those with an open call. Most of the public art competitions he's entered have been ones he's won after being asked to be on a short list. He applied to Mapping and Marking because he thought his idea fit the guidelines perfectly.
"I also thought that East Vancouver still gets short shifted," he said. "It never really gets its due - especially in terms of public art."
© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun
EAST VAN FO LIFE!!!!!!!
- ▼ 2010 (42)
- Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain
- No, I didn't come to Barcelona because of THAT movie. (although it did fuel my obsession with this city, slightly). First time living away from home, away from Canada... Thinking it's gonna be an adventure. I want to share my ups and downs with you during my European get away, so enjoy. :)