Here There Be Dragons…

Dragon Mural, 2016

Dragon Mural, 2016
LOCATED: 491 Dundas St W, Toronto
ARTISTS: Blinc Studios
WEBSITES: http://www.blincstudios.com
EMAIL: allan@blincstudios.com
SPONSOR: Chinatown Business Improvement Association
Copyright 2017, Public Art of Toronto. All rights reserved.

Finally, let us have a look at this marvel located in the laneway east of 491 Dundas Street West.

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Let’s take a moment to appreciate the technical skill and artistry that went into the Dragon Mural. That is corrugated metal sheeting. If you thought it was hard to paint on a flat surface, how much work went into covering this? They didn’t just paint the crests and troughs. They painted all four faces of this wall so that it would be perfect regardless of which angle you viewed it from. That’s dedication.

Well done Blinc!

This one, I believe, is the Azure Dragon as classified by the Emperor Huizong of the Song dynasty. There were many classifications of dragons in ancient China and Huizong classified each colour: Azure [Qinglong 青龍], Vermilion [Zhulong 朱龍 or Chilong 赤龍],Yellow [Huanglong 黃龍], White [Bailong 白龍], Black [Xuanlong 玄龍 or Heilong 黑龍], as kings. Each dragon king bears certain qualities. In Azure’s case, he was known for his compassion.

Dragon Mural, 2016

Dragon Mural, 2016 LOCATED: 491 Dundas St W, Toronto ARTISTS: Blinc Studios WEBSITES: http://www.blincstudios.com EMAIL: allan@blincstudios.com SPONSOR: Chinatown Business Improvement Association Copyright 2017, Public Art of Toronto. All rights reserved.

There were not the only dragons revered in Chinese culture. In terms of mythology, there are in fact nine described dragons. The most recognizable are:

  • Tianlong, The Celestial Dragon
  • Shenlong, the Spiritual Dragon
  • Fucanglong, the Dragon of Hidden Treasures
  • Dilong, the Underground Dragon

From there, Chinese iconography uses the dragon represents power, strength, and good luck for the deserving. As such it became a symbol of imperial authority. They were also thought to symbolize power over destructive elements such as rain storms, floods, and typhoons.

Regardless of your perspective, in terms of Chinse culture, the dragon remains a powerful and revered image. It’s gratifying to see so much time and effort being put into such a significant icon for the community.It’s no wonder the Chinatown BIA works so closely with Blinc Studios on their StART initiatives. The results are fantastic.

Complete Artist List: Allan Bender, John Nobrega, Jesse McCuaig, Azadeh Pirazimian, Chris Brown, Frannie Potts and Mohammad Jaberi

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