East Van Saints.. New Installation

I was riding down 2nd / 6th / Great Northern Way (or should I say 'up').. when I couldn't help but notice this new installation. I have to say I really like it, it's the first very public display of this symbol that I have seen. I remember it as a gang sign for the "East Van Saints", though I don't even think they were still around when I was a teenager. By then, the scrawled or painted sign had probably already become a symbol for the defiant pride people who wrote it felt about their part of the city.

I found out after getting home that the installation is actually called Monument for East Vancouver, designed by Ken Lum, and that it may have been lit for the first time this rainy January evening.

I imagine it will stir some controversy, especially due to its associations with 'gang culture'. However, a bit of research has shown (through comments on news sites), that some people remember the symbol being around as early as the 50s. Perhaps a street gang created it, perhaps they ripped it off something else. Either way, it seems the symbol has long since outgrown its origins and can be claimed by all "East Vancouverites".

I even feel a bit of pride and nostalgia over it, and I've only lived in East Van for about seven of the last 10 years (the rest were spent in Japan). I grew up in East East Van, otherwise known as Burnaby.

The only thing I doubt is the location, but it is a great beacon from where it stands now, and will be visible across much of the city (and very directly from the nearby Skytrain line).

>> low-fi photo from J_B