Murals Reclaiming Space in Philadelphia’s Chinatown

This mural, “History of Chinatown”, was created by four artists (Arturo Ho, Giz, N. Phung, and H. Tran) in 1994 showing the arrival of the early laundrymen resisting urban restoration. The site of the mural also plays a role in its story; extensive demolition was created as a result of the Vine Street Expressway and other redevelopment projects in the 1960s/70s, and the mural’s presence at this location symbolizes a mark of territory. This mural demonstrates a social determinant of health–economic stability; in the mural, workers are ironing, mining, farming, and laundering, which all require hands-on labor and can be physically taxing on one’s health. This mural prompts me to think about how murals and other art forms contribute to a community.

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