Chinatown Otter

Archival pigment print backmounted to aluminum





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In November 2018, staff at Sun Yat-Sen Garden in Vancouver spotted what appeared to be a river otter in the park, and quickly realized it had eaten some of the park’s prized koi fish. Several attempts were made to catch the otter, all of them unsuccessful, which was followed by the discovery that beloved 50-year-old koi, Madonna, was gone. Countermeasures were stepped up. Experts were brought in. Yet, the otter continued to eat the fish and successfully elude capture. The story made international news, and on social media, allegiances were pledged to #TeamOtter and #TeamKoi. Some cheered the otter on, to the dismay of those who felt Madonna, in particular, was part of their neighbourhood. Others proclaimed the otter a thief, supposing it could understand that while eating any other fish anywhere was fine, these koi in this park were somehow different.

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