Karen Tam’s practice is grounded in historical research, and she has drawn inspiration from many photographs, like this picture of the Marquis of Lorne Arch. This image from 1882 represents a monumental gateway erected by Nanaimo’s Chinese community in honour of a visit from Sir John Douglas Sutherland Campbell, the Marquis of Lorne and the Governor General of Canada, on August 20 of that year. At the time, it was customary for Chinese residents in British Columbia to construct a street arch to welcome a visiting dignitary. This structure is decorated with English slogans, a Chinese poem, lanterns, and possibly a diorama above the declaration “Unity Is Strength”—words that are often heard today in protests against anti-Asian racism. The phrase “Coal Is King” reveals the importance of the mining industry in employing the local Chinese population.