Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
The Gate of Harmonious Interest, or Tong Ji Men, was erected in 1981. It was built in China and is modeled after typical gates there. Both the Chinese and non-Chinese communities worked together to have this gate installed over Fisgard Street. Two inscriptions allude to this cooperative effort: “To work together with one heart” and “To help each other achieve harmony.”
It is a most interesting structure in terms of Chinese cultural symbolism. It’s overall theme is Unity in Duality. This theme is seen in the Gate’s treatment of the Golden Dragon, a Yang element, and the Red Phoenix, a Yin element. Red symbolizes joy and festivity while gold symbolizes wealth and prosperity. These colours-together with touches of Qing (a blue-green colour), which is symbolic of growth and peace-represents the harmony of the elements. In particular, the red and gold represent the union of heaven and earth.
There are bells hung from the corner of the gate. When these chime in the wind, Buddhists and Taoists believe they ward off evil spirits. On either side of the gate are two lions, who act as guardians protecting Chinatown. The female lion on the right side and the male on the left again signify the balance of Yin and Yang. It is an impressive opening to one of the oldest and complete Chinatowns in Canada.
There are 2 time capsules located here with one at the base of each main support and the gate is well lit at night.
Canadian Artists, June 2012
Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Canon EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM
Single RAW file