Above: An image of one of the original murals.
After a number of murals painted on dilapidated buildings at a Shanghai demolition site picked up attention online, the artwork was torn down over the weekend as a sign reading: “construction zone, authorized personnel only” appeared at the entry, Shanghai Morning Post reported.
The ten murals have now been almost completely destroyed. Some of buildings used as canvas have been smashed and overturned. On some murals, it appears as if the concrete was ripped off of the structures.
The nearly wiped-out murals have aroused heated discussion, even at the National People’s Congress and the Chinese Political Consultative Conference.
“The reason why [art like this] has become so popular is because it reflects the mind of those who used to live here, it immortalizes memories that people had in these old houses”, Dai Jianguo, a professor from the College of Humanities and Communication at Shanghai Normal University and member of SPPC (the Shanghai People’s Political Consultative Conference) said. “If you look at other countries, most of them have graffiti like this, but their government wouldn’t intervene in most cases”.
“Safety should be placed first,” argues Yang Wenyue, a staff member at the Shanghai Green and Urban Appearance Bureau and a member of SPPC. “Every work of art has a carrier or a place to be shown. The most crucial factor when you are enjoying art is the safety of the venue, which should not bring any risk of harm to the viewer. As you can see, most of the graffiti at Kangding Road is inside demolition sites, where safety can not be guaranteed. Therefore, we do not suggest artists paint in this area. We also don’t suggest our citizens get too close.”
The murals, made by French street artist Julian Malland, appeared at No. 600 Kangding Road last week and images of the art went viral on Chinese social media. Malland is a graduate from the National School of Decorative Arts in Paris and has created similar large-scale works of art in India, Mexico, Brazil and South America.
Visitor uses the graffiti as a backdrop for wedding photos.
by Luke Sun
[Images via NetEase]