Karen Tam’s drawing Le Parc de la Pagode (Montréal), 1978, 2020, depicts the pagoda that was installed in Montreal’s Chinatown in 1967 as part of the city’s efforts to revitalize the neighbourhood. The pagoda was donated by Arthur Lee of Wing Noodles—one of the oldest businesses in Chinatown—and was “dedicated to the cause of peace and harmony among all Canadians.” In 1981, the city removed the pagoda without informing Chinatown residents in order to expand Saint Urbain Street. This work is part of Tam’s series Ruinscape Drawings, 2020, which exposes the history of acts of vandalism in Chinatowns, the disappearance of these neighbourhoods, and anti-Asian violence in Canada and the United States.
Karen Tam, Le Parc de la Pagode (Montréal), 1978, 2020, from the Ruinscape Drawings series
Pencil on photocopy paper, 27.94 x 21.59 cm, Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Hugues Charbonneau, Montreal. Photo credit: Karen Tam.