A complex and contradictory graffiti culture has been brewing over the last few decades in one of the least expected settings – China’s capital. Through an unparalleled collection of one local photographer’s images, as well as interviews with 25 prolific artists, see how Beijing has developed its graffiti movement against the backdrop of the once-secluded nation’s rise to global economic might. While Beijing graffiti artists take their cue from the subculture’s Western origins, the local scene has also been highly influenced by both foreign visitors and traditional Chinese art and culture. Profiles of significant artists explore the dynamics of creative self-expression in such a perceivedly authoritarian setting, including the surprising amount of freedom they have to make their art undisturbed compared to Western counterparts. A must for graffiti enthusiasts, Sinophiles, and anyone interested in how this colourful subculture is still growing half a century after it emerged.
About the authors:
Beijing photographer Liu Yuan Sheng is a retired magazine editor and the unlikely custodian of the most comprehensive collection of images of graffiti in China’s capital. British expat
Tom Dartnell is a former graffiti artist. He has written for a wide range of publications, including Hip-Hop Connection, Graphotism, Time Out Beijing, and Shanghai Daily.
Published December 2020 by Schiffer Publishing
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