Saturday, January 30, 2010

Giant Cross Is Gang Symbol

Researching online for other views about the giant cross at VCC Clark Sky Train, I found out that it is copied from a gang symbol that guys in the neighbourhood used to write on walls and get tattooed on their arms back before tattoos were chic. You can read the article at this site, written by someone who approves of it - but also, read the comments below it:

Apparently there was an article about the plan for this cross last November in the Vancouver Sun.

I looked up the guy who designed it, Ken Lum - here he is on Wikipedia.

He has tons of honors and has done tons of public art projects previously, but some of his other projects have also been "controversial."

The Wikipedia article says he was born in 1956 and grew up in Strathcona, and that "his art is conceptually oriented, and generally concerned with issues of identity."

Perhaps he has put this gang symbol up in East Van as a way of claiming it for the gang-bangers (probably some other term was used back then) of his generation. I wonder if he was a member, or a wanna-be. At the time this mark was invented, it must have been intended to create a sense of belonging for some and strike fear into those who didn't belong. It's still doing it.

I don't like it. But if it could scare off the yuppies...

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