Artist hopes new mural in Boston’s Chinatown will shed light on neighborhood issues

Tucked away in an alleyway on Essex Street, a new mural in one of Chinatown’s oldest neighborhoods represents the tradition and culture of the Boston neighborhood. Said artist Ponnapa Prakkamakul. “If you walk to the end of the wall, you will find that these noodles turn into a dragon.” Prakkamakul is the artist responsible for the 140-foot painting of Oxford Street, which sits on the side of a vacant building once occupied by the Ho Toy Noodle Company. Oxford Properties, owner of the building, wanted to bring in some light and of life in the region. They contacted the Asian Community Development Corporation to ask if they knew of any artists up to the challenge. “By getting residents to take ownership of parts of public spaces, it’s a way for us to reclaim Chinatown,” said Angie Liou, executive director of the Asian Community Development Corporation. they see different things in it – noodles, waves and even rainbows. “Sometimes if you see things too closely you don’t see the whole picture,” Prakkamakul said. She said this message can also apply to the rise in violence against Asians. Americans hope the artwork is just a way for people of all races to come together to talk about the problem facing this neighborhood. Liou asked. “What do we belong to? Where do Chinese Americans and Asian Americans belong in the city of Boston? It’s the year 2021, and many of us still feel invisible and not quite like full Americans. ”

Tucked away in an alleyway on Essex Street, a new mural in one of Chinatown’s oldest neighborhoods represents the tradition and culture of the Boston neighborhood.

“So the wall starts with the noodle dish that you can normally find in Chinatown to eat at home,” artist Ponnapa Prakkamakul said. “If you walk to the end of the wall, you will find that these noodles turn into a dragon.”

Prakkamakul is the artist responsible for the 140-foot painting on Oxford Street, which sits on the side of a vacant building once occupied by the Ho Toy Noodle Company.

Oxford Properties, owner of the building, wanted to bring some light and life to the neighborhood.

They contacted the Asian Community Development Corporation to ask if they knew of any artists up to the challenge.

“By getting residents to take ownership of parts of public spaces, it’s a way for us to reclaim Chinatown,” said Angie Liou, executive director of the Asian Community Development Corporation.

Prakkamakul said that one of his favorite things about the mural is that when people look at it, they see different things – noodles, waves and even rainbows.

“Sometimes if you see things too closely you don’t see the whole picture,” Prakkamakul said.

She said this message can also apply to the rise in violence against Asian Americans and hopes the artwork is just a way for people of all races to come together. to talk about the problem this neighborhood is facing.

“If we can no longer afford to live here, where do we belong? Liou asked. “What do we belong to? What are Chinese Americans and Asian Americans in the city of Boston? It’s the year 2021, and many of us still feel invisible and not quite like full Americans. ”


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