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Onward
Photograph: Courtesy of @just_a_spectator

Head to Chinatown to check out this cool Year of the Ox mural

Courtesy of artist BKFoxx.

By
Anna Ben Yehuda
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"I love that the Lunar New Year comes with a new animal each time," says public artist BKFoxx while discussing her new ox-themed mural found in Chinatown. "It's so much cooler than our basic New Year's on January 1."

This isn't the artist's first display of artistic affection towards the Chinese New Year—which, in 2021, is celebrated through February 26. In fact, BKFoxx has been marking the occasion via murals since 2017. In 2020, for the Year of the Rat, she painted "One Man's Trash (Is a Mouse's Treasure)," depicting a bunch of items of no apparent use that she collected before getting to work.

This year's piece, dubbed "Onward," is located at Dr. Sun Yat Middle School 131 on Eldrige and Hester Streets and is the result of a collaboration with East Village Walls, a community group dedicated to the curation of street art in lower Manhattan. "They have a projects in the Lower East Side/Chinatown and do a lot of work with the community," explains BKFoxx.

Year of the Ox
Photograph: Courtesy of @just_a_spectator

When asked about the inspiration behind the mural, the artist mentions some of the ox's most defining characteristics, including resilience. "I thought that would be the perfect theme for approaching this year, after 2020," she says. "It's called 'Onward' [because it's] trying to give everyone the sense of moving forward, standing tough. Hope and being stubborn that things will get better."

Clearly, we are the city of resilience—and it's time for some street art to celebrate that strength.

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