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Chinatown Mural Project Aims To Drum Up Local Business With 'Instagrammable' Art

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - A community activist and an artist have teamed-up to help Chinatown businesses recover after getting hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

As CBS2's Cindy Hsu reported, the team has a colorful idea.

It's called the Chinatown Mural Project, where eye-catching art is popping up on the sides of buildings.

Activist Karlin Chan came up with the idea after word of the pandemic overseas started turning Manhattan's Chinatown into a ghost town as early as last December.

"The xenophobia and the fear of catching this disease, people started avoiding Chinatown in droves," Chan said.

Businesses are still hurting.

Last month, Chan started the project with local artist Peach Tao.


Together, they're designing and painting murals that represent the community and the strength of New Yorkers.

"You have New York Tough, you have Black Lives Matter, you have a pride flag. It's such an inclusive mural," Hsu said.

"It's the diversity of all kinds of people that makes New York very special," Tao said.

There are also hidden treasures in the murals. Tao leaves her special mark - a little peach - in each one.

Some of them are tough to find. According to Tao, peaches are drawn upside down in Asia.

You have to look carefully to catch everything in each mural.

The goal is to get people back to Chinatown by creating "Instagrammable" art that gets word out that the area is open for business.

The Chinatown Mural Project has a GoFundMe page to keep it going.

So far, two murals are finished. The next one is expected to go up soon.

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