A famous street in Chinatown is currently getting a colorful, and controversial, makeover.
Doyers Street, a 200-foot stretch once known as “the Bloody Angle” due to the amount of gang violence centered there, is being covered with a vibrant mural from artist Chen Dongfan titled “The Song of Dragons and Flowers.” The 4,851 square-foot piece is meant to depict a flying dragon.
"Chinatown's history is full of hardship, but also full of love. Doyers Street is located in Chinatown, intersecting with Pell Street at its very end, as if a flying dragon is winding its way up and resting at the intersection of two streets,” the artist said in a statement. “I was inspired by the immigrant experience and how they perceive this neighborhood as home. Thus, I believe that dragon, both from its visual form and the cultural meaning, can best represent the area.”
Day 6: #eyeofthedragon keeps watch on #doyersstreet as @chendongfan paints its song @thesongofdragonandflowers 📷Katrina Law @nyc_dot @artbridge @fougallery @nyc_dotart #chinatown #chinatownnyc #whenlifegivesyoulemons #makelemonade pic.twitter.com/00OzOxVInn— Chinatown NYC (@ChinatownNYC) July 19, 2018
Area businesses, however, have been feeling a bit less inspired after the city announced that the street would be completely closed to vehicular traffic until the completion of the mural in a few weeks. Earlier this week, after twelve businesses signed a petition alleging that garbage trucks were unable to pick up trash, the city backtracked on that initial plan and will now only be closing the street daily from 10am to 9pm.
Things are coming along. Day 3 of ‘The Song of Dragon and Flowers’ mural installation on Doyers St #chinatown #chinatownnyc #chendongfan #nycdotart #streetmural #mural #artbridge pic.twitter.com/mwtj9Sffzp— Chinatown NYC (@ChinatownNYC) July 14, 2018
The technicolor mural, which is part of the NYC Department of Transportation’s Doyers Street Seasonal Street Public Art Program, is now set to be finished on July 27th and the area will become a pedestrian plaza beginning August 1.