Alexa Hatanaka and Li-Hill walked around Chinatown with their cameras, taking surreptitious photos of people going about their daily activities in order to find their inspiration for the piece. An elderly fruit seller, two kids walking under an umbrella, an old man, all smiles, riding his bike, they all bring this mural vividly to life.
Hatanaka is a graduate of Sheridan College and OCAD. She works extensively with her partner Patrick Thompson as PA Systems, creating installations using a variety of mediums: textiles, video, printmaking and large scale public art. She is also one of the founders of Embassy of Imagination, an arts organization providing Inuit children from Port Dorset with the opportunity to experience and create art in a variety of mediums. In2015, EOI facilitated the creation of Piliriqatigiingniq, 50-foot mural located at 76 Church Street, the result of a collaboration between young Port Dorset artists and graduates of the Oasis Skateboard Factory program.
Her works have been shown at the Royal Ontario Museum, Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, University of New Mexico Art Gallery. and the Guanlan International Printmaking Base in China.
Li-Hill, also a graduate of OCAD, is currently based in Brooklyn where he combines painting, illustration, stenciling, and sculptural elements to create his works, often adding found objects to elevate the aesthetic. He has exhibited his works in Australia, Thailand, Myanmar, Mexico, and China. His pieces are displayed in National Gallery of Victoria, The Art Gallery of Ontario and the Portsmouth Museum of Art in New Hampshire.
The title for this article comes from the W. Hodding Carter II quote: “There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots; the other, wings.”