CC SA-BY Our Oakland

The Han Mural on the back of 200 Webster St. was painted by Dave Young Kim and Erik T. Burke for the 2018 Oakland Mural Festival. It features a large, colorful rooster, the Chinese character 'Han' (恨), meaning anger or resentment, and a rising sun.

“The rooster traditionally symbolizes tenaciousness, never giving up,” Kim shared in an Instagram post. To Kim, the symbol represents a feeling that being downtrodden could be both a burden and a source of empowerment. "It could crush you, or you could rise up and fight til the end,” he says.

Fittingly, the mural also gives a nod to Jack London, the prolific author who spent most of his childhood frequenting the waterfront district that now bears his name. Instead of a sun, a circular frame depicts a lone figure in a snowy landscape, facing a radiant fire for warmth. It’s painted after a photograph Burke fixated on for a long time, inspired by a scene in London’s short story “To Build A Fire.” 2

Photos CC SA-BY Our Oakland.

Links and References

  1. Han (恨) on Wiktionary
  2. Nine New Murals To See In Oakland This Summer KQED Arts June 2018