This contemporary mural interpretation of Along the River During the Qingming Festival is on public display in the heart of Edmonton's chinatown. The original artwork of the same name is a cherished masterpiece, has been called "China's Mona Lisa" and was created by Zhang Zeduan 900 years ago during the Song dynasty. This scroll mural depicts every day life for the rich and poor alike in the capital city at the time, Bianjing (now Kaifeng).
A great economic high point in Chinese history, the height of the Song dynasty can be compared to China's current prosperous status and quality of life. In this Chinese age of invention, China was the most urbanized nation with important creations like the compass, tea, porcelain and gunpowder. At the time, China had the world's most advanced technology and economy.
The original scroll shows a harmonious picture representing an idealization of a Confucian world with 814 people, yet only 20 are women. My interpretation has an even mix of men and women in the public realm.
This mural in Edmonton's Chinatown took 6 years to come to life, from it's first conversation to it's installation and unveiling during the 2018 Chinese New Year festivities.
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