Sometimes dreams come true and what a wonderful feeling when it happens! For the last two years I’ve been carrying in my head a quiet but persistent thought that I should try mural painting. However, an opportunity to realize this idea has never come across until this June when I won a grant from the Asian Arts Initiative, a community based non-profit art organization in the Callowhill/Chinatown North section of Philadelphia, to create a public art project on Pearl Street. Asian Arts aspires to transform the Pearl Street alleyway into a more vibrant and cultural space, and one of their strategies is to invite artists to create an art project that would take place on the 1200 block of Pearl Street. I spend most of my time in the Chinatown North area, as my house and my artist studio are located in this neighborhood, so I’ve walked on Pearl Street many times and knew that this narrow alley could be gloomy and murky at times. I cannot tell you how excited I was when I got the opportunity to make a project for this street, and I immediately decided to make a mural. My dream came true, and I painted my first ever pavement mural! It brought into play natural phenomena such as water, trees, and sunlight in order to create a space where city dwellers could escape from the hustle of urban life and to immerse themselves into an imaginary inner landscape of peace and contemplation.
Here you could see a sketch for the mural and a part of my working shoe, which I was wearing while painting the mural. The shoes got completely splattered with paint and I like to think that they became my lucky talisman for my future carrier as a mural painter.