“I starting thinking, what are the four iconic boats? The first was a Native long boat, coloured red, the next one was the captain of Vancouver’s HMS Discovery, white, and then the next with Komagata Maru, black, because it was that color as well. Also the Komagata Maru trial took place in the Vancouver Art Gallery when it was the courthouse. And then the last one was yellow, which was the Fujian refugee boat, would-be refugees from Fujian Province in China. It made the news. I don’t know how many, but dozens of would be refugees were stranded on the shores of these rocks, the sea gulls flying around, barnacle encrusted rocks, freezing because the ship stopped and tried to dump off the refugees. And the ship was like a wreck, it was rusted orange and so on. And I thought, yeah, that’s the changing demographics as well. And each one was facing a different direction so it became a directional marker as well.
“Red and yellow, black and white is just part of the refrain of Jesus Loves the Little Children, which was actually a civil war song, but it got rewritten and popularized as a children’s song. Obviously the colors refer to a kind of utopian racialized world.”