Graffiti turns old village into gallery – Expats building graffiti community

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Raffaele Capuano and Robert Duxbury.

Love or hate it graffiti is part of the everyday urban world. People first started to recognize graffiti as an art form when the paint started hitting the NYC subways in the 1970’s and 80’s. Gangs of graffiti artists known as crews began to develop. When competition between the different crews became rife, it meant the quality of graffiti became much more important than just the quantity of it.

Graffiti, however, still to this day remains an illegal art and the city authorities across the globe spend millions every year cleaning it up. Some would question, what exactly is the point of spending time and taking the risk to do an act which will be removed within a few days?

Nowadays some people consider that even the simplest thing such as photographing anomalous objects stacked on top of each other constitutes as being an acceptable art-form. While graffiti art in the appreciative eye, just uses the urban environment as a creative canvas to showcase an innovative talent. So is graffiti, art or vandalism?

Well… the famous saying “art is in the eye of the beholder” cannot be better suited to form your own opinion, regardless of what government laws attempt to impose upon you. It is your right and privilege to decide yourself, however, as such in every art-form there will also be an opposite critic to contradict whatever your view is.

Graffiti is gaining popularity in Shenzhen, as evidenced by a steadily growing wall of art near the Honghu Park in Luohu District. Over the weekend more than a hundred young people were divided into 18 teams that competed in a graffiti painting contest that was done on the 170-meter wall found along Zhongxin No. 2 Street in Futian.

Each of the 18 teams was given 6 meters of space to do the graffiti that will be based on the theme of Urban Culture and Youth Culture. All painters had a good time and appreciated that they were allowed to show off their worked in such a prominent location.

The publicity department organized the competition, public culture and sports development center of Futian that is also a part of the neighborhood art festival in the district. Graffiti started showing up ten years ago in cities such as Shanghai and Beijing were it was considered as street art.

More than 60 graffiti lovers and artists gathered on Oct. 14 and 15 in Xinlian Village in Longgang District to paint murals on walls, gates and the facade of houses, warehouses and garages, transforming the quiet village into a vast open-air gallery.

Andy C

Organized by Italian cook Raffaele Capuano and Australian painter Robert Duxbury, who has been living in the village for a few years, the event, titled “Back to the Wall,” attracted graffiti fans from Shenzhen, Huizhou, Guangzhou, Zhuhai, Hong Kong, and Xiamen.


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