Wall Painting in China Town

A very short documentary of people behind the colourful walls in the China town in Toronto.


A few weeks ago, while I was aimlessly wondering around the downtown area on the way back home, I found a certain artist painting walls of a store in the Southeast section of the China town.

Considering that I only had Nikon F3 with Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 and just a few exposures left, I would not be able to get meaningful shots without getting up-close.

So, I asked the artist for the permission to photograph him while he was painting. Fortunately, he was okay with it. The interesting bit was that the artist said he was thankful that I asked him for permissions. Nobody ever said that to me before.


According to the artist, he was commissioned by the City of Toronto to paint the wall but the theme was still decided by the local business association. He single-handedly did the same job in 2012 with the picture of the Great Wall of China in the same alley. This time around, he went for the Forbidden City by himself again.

Painting walls might’ve look simple but the man went through working on the design with Photoshop, incorporating with the photographs of the real place. The result is stunning.

From what I was told, it does not seem that China town is the only area. I wonder where else can I find this.