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Xian, China's graffiti city

Xian, China's graffiti city

A graffiti painting that depicts the content about the Old City Wall in Xian [Photo:]


Xian, China's graffiti city

Goose Pagoda Xintiandi square's picture has the ingredients of Tang Monk and Big Goose Pagoda [Photo:]


Xian, China's graffiti city

A cartoon figure drawn on a tile-made floor would like to be close to the pedestrians [Photo:]


Max, a young Chinese man returned from his architectural design study in England; Rose, a 19-year-old boy and Cow, who has just been enrolled at Xian Art Academy. It is quite unbelievable that Xian, a great ancient city in the center of China, can become the home of Chinese graffiti lovers, like the three young guys. The young graffiti artists have been roaming around Xian and making the old city to be modern and lively, they have given a brand new face to downtown! The stained well cover becomes a big mouth of a funny cartoon figure.

Attracted and inspired by the stunning and colorful wall graffiti arts in Western countries, Max found it was very interesting to be a pioneer in this field in Xian. When he was back from the UK in 2004, he decided to bring graffiti to China. Today, there are about 10 graffiti artist groups in Xian city. It is estimated about 100 graffiti enthusiasts who are active, this number is much more that in Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou. "The circle of graffiti artists is so small, basically, the artists throughout China are keeping in touch and I know all of them. Xian has the most graffiti artists in China," said Max.

He thinks the reason why people in Xian love graffiti is that Xian has many colleges and universities, and graffiti attracted many youngsters. "Some of my friends I knew them before they went to study at universities. Later they came to Xian and studied here. Now they joined Xian's graffiti army," said Max.

To most locals, it may be quite hard to comprehend the meaning inside the contents of graffiti paintings, but in Xian, many works are concerned China's ancient stuffs and some family emotions. When doing the job, Rose has once been expelled by local pedestrians, who thought him as polluting the environment. Rose and Max think that as artists, they must to improve quality every time and their works must be eye-catching. Cow hopes that there will be more and more people can accept graffiti in the near future and appreciate the art form by their hearts and souls. They do graffiti in accordance to local laws, unlike some "underground" artists, who make everything dirty overnight!

For local people, doing graffiti takes relatively great cost, therefore, in addition to personal hobby, some passionate enthusiasts will do commercial graffiti, generally 100 RMB for a square meter. However, business is quite hard to do in Xian. "Some companies knew that we were still 'young children' they would bully us, such as to make unreasonable requirements, write off our own creativities and bargain for very low prices," said Max.

(This news article is a translation from Chinese texts for travel reference. It does not represent the views of AbsoluteChinaTours)

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