Banners can be found at many Chinatown community events, including celebrations, marches, funerary processions, and parades. Success to the Revolution, 2021, was inspired by recent protests against anti-Asian racism and calls for action, solidarity, and change. The tiger is a symbol of bravery, and as the character hu 虎 for tiger is a homophone for hu 護 “protection,” it is considered to hold protective powers, keeping away demons and frightening enemies. Since the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), winged or flying tigers have been associated with the armed forces, and these iconic creatures were featured on military banners in the seventeenth century. Like many of the works in this exhibition, this banner looks back to Chinese cultural traditions while calling for resilience in the face of current racist violence.
Karen Tam, Success to the Revolution, 2021
Embroidery on satin, 121.28 x 46.99 cm, Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Hugues Charbonneau, Montreal. Photo credit: Campbell River Art Gallery.