Category Archives: tag

I love dumpsters.

A slight echo of the first post I’ve made on this blog. Some of the best tags and street art I’ve seen on Vancouver have been on dumpsters, where they’re guaranteed to last longer than anywhere else except in skid row. It is also common for dumpsters to be transported throughout the city, reaching an audience rivaled only by train cars.

Orca by Norali?

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Please tag here

Not everyday that you see an invitation to tag on the city’s walls, albeit an illegal invitation…

Please tag here: ??? Skunk, BCGC

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University of Billion Construction

Over the years, I’ve heard many different and ironic interpretations of the University of British Columbia (UBC)’s acronym. There’re some less politically correct ones, “University of Billion Chinese” for example, referencing the high numbers of students with Chinese ancestry at the school [sometimes I get the feeling that students of different Asian backgrounds are ignorantly lumped into this category]; some downright hilarious ones “University of Bacon Cooking” [pokes fun at our school logo and what it looks like if you change the blue waves to red, see here.], and lately: “University of Billion Construction”.

Construction just never seems to stop at UBC. The building of the new SUB (student union building) is perhaps one of the projects that impact the most students right now (in fact, it impacts every single one of us who happen to use the SUB), but it is by no means the only project. No more cutting across the open space next to the old SUB to get to Hebb Theatre, no more Knoll (a symbolic grassy hill where students like to hang out on rain-less days, used to also be a place of protest), even the statue of the Goddess of Democracy has been relocated (although it looks more impressive where it is now).

The area next to the bookstore where a parking metered lot used to be has been transformed into what would eventually be a series of water features, and a fountain now stands there marking the geographic centre of campus. Students ask: do we really need all these water features? Although aesthetically pleasing, funding for such construction comes from our tuition. Just as funding for the new SUB has increased over the years in our student fees. We are building a future for students who have not even stepped foot onto campus, because surely the construction will not be completed until many of us are graduated. But is this a future that fosters learning and education? Will students feel more connected to campus if there is a fountain marking the symbolic crossroad on campus? Will old buildings with character get the renovation they need (think: Chem lecture seats), or will we just construct new buildings whose heating system is wonky 99% of the time (any Pharm students want to comment on that?)? We may be building a future that is easier on the eyes of tourists, but are we building a better future for our students, both present, and future?

Only time will tell.

Triforce.

Graffiti on dumpsters tend to stay for a long time, if not forever.

More Triforce.

*Edit: post has been edited for clarification, also this excerpt from our student newspaper (The Ubyssey) deserves a read and echoes my sentiments perfectly. 

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Getting the pulse of a foreign city

A 13 hr flight away, on another continent, speaking another language, colonized by another people. Macau, a small city a ferry ride away from Hong Kong, populated with hotels and casinos to rival those of Las Vegas. An imitation of an imitation but a good one nonetheless. A city of a vibrant but sometimes highly cynical people, dependent on tourists from mainland China, and yet distrustful and uncomfortable with this relationship. There are so many things I can comment on about this city, a place where I have many memories of since I was a small child. Many of the things I’ve observed here during my recent trip almost made me lose faith in humanity, and yet, there may still be hope.

The symbol at the top of the angel’s head is a tag found in many areas of Macau, as far-flung as the regions of Cotai and Taipa.

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Memories of happier times

Imagine.

It was your 21st birthday. It was dark, drizzling a bit, and you had just finished a sumptuous dinner with your closest friends at Six Acres, a cozy restaurant whose storefront faces the rear of Gassy Jack’s statue, the founder of the part of town that continues to bear his name. Leaving the restaurant, a sweet accordion music assails you, and you recognize it as being part of the Valse of Amélie, a leitmotif from a classic French movie about a girl so altruistic she almost abandons her own happiness for the happiness of others.

This was the kind of atmosphere around you as you walk down the road with your friends to get home. Happy, thoughtful, but carefree, with alcohol buzzing through your veins. Perhaps you were a little more out of it than usual, but when you saw it, you stopped, you took a picture. Two pictures, actually.

And those were the only two pictures you took that night.

Not being from East Van or even hanging around the Gastown area much, this was the first incidence of the famous “Shark” tag that I’ve encountered in the flesh. I have been around a few times right after they have been buffed though, with the outline clearly showing due to the poor paint job.

 I love it when artists work around existing elements in the environment. It makes everything seem more cohesive and natural, like they belong there. Personally, I consider this art and not graffiti. The window looks way better with it there!

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