Art Travel

How the Chinese Ancient Town of Fengjing became a Graffiti Centre

14. March 2018

graffiti town near Shanghai Fengjing Boy

When I first heard about Fengjing, I actually did not know anything about this town. Little did I expect that this inconspicuous ancient town near Western Shanghai has become a centre for modern street art.

Graffiti Town near Shanghai Fengjing Pink Girl River

The small ancient town Fengjing near Western Shanghai has become a destination making street art enthusiasts’ heart skip a beat. The French graffiti artist Julien Malland, aka as ‘SETH’, has painted the walls of abandoned houses with his graffiti artworks.

Graffiti Town near Shanghai Fengjing Girl River

I really love the architecture of traditional Chinese houses. Unfortunately, these house have become very rare as they had to give way to modern condos. In Fengjing, they have become the canvas for SETH’s works.

Graffiti Town near Shanghai Fengjing Friends

What I like most about his graffiti art in Fengjing is the direct dialogue between the buildings and the artworks. They somehow seem to be melted into each other – whether its bay windows becoming one of the objects of the large graffiti figures or a river dividing a mural into two.

Graffiti Town near Shanghai Fengjing Sleeping Girl

Let’s hope that these artworks are enough reason to preserve the old buildings! It is definitely a great example that modern art and traditional heritage can work very well together!

Special thanks to Magda and Robert Hartmann for their beautiful pictures. 🙂

Graffiti Town near Shanghai Fengjing River

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26 Comments

  • Reply Jen 22. March 2018 at 8:08

    I loved this post! I get to visit China quite frequently and this is something one just doesn’t see there. How beautiful! I will definitely have to add it to my list of places to visit.

    • Reply Liz 22. March 2018 at 9:53

      Thanks so much! Yeah, I agree, it’s not something you would see very often. However, it is getting a bit more popular now.

  • Reply Val 22. March 2018 at 9:14

    This article is great, I mean, how cool is this place? I’m definitely taking notes!
    I love street art and these graffiti are amazing, thanks so much for making me discover Fengjing!

    • Reply Liz 22. March 2018 at 9:54

      Thank you! You’re welcome, I think this place is really worth sharing. It’s such a cool concept of old and new!

  • Reply Mitali 22. March 2018 at 9:50

    These arts are simply wonderful. And I must say you have captured those photos very well to define their beauty

    • Reply Liz 22. March 2018 at 9:55

      I agree 100%, these artworks are truly beautiful!

  • Reply Toni 22. March 2018 at 10:51

    As a Melburnian, the street art capital of the world, these are incredible! Man, i need to get over to see art like this. Such an awesome find!

    • Reply Liz 23. March 2018 at 1:42

      I’d love to go to Melbourne one day and see all the street art, it must be so cool to explore!

  • Reply Chantelle 22. March 2018 at 11:00

    Wow – this is really amazing! I love street art and these works are really thoughtful. What a wonderful place!

    • Reply Liz 23. March 2018 at 1:50

      It is really wonderful indeed. I think it’s a great symbiosis of old and new.

  • Reply Josephine 22. March 2018 at 11:18

    These are so beautiful and special. Thank you for sharing them 🙂

    • Reply Liz 23. March 2018 at 1:51

      Thanks! You are very welcome!

  • Reply Anu 22. March 2018 at 12:23

    Lovely. A lot of cities are beautifying themselves using the street art but this is the first time I see a kids theme. It looks like the whole town is a nursery rhyme. I am sure it beings out the kid in you.

    • Reply Liz 23. March 2018 at 1:52

      Oh that’s so true, I love the connection to the nursery rhyme!

  • Reply NieNie 22. March 2018 at 21:41

    These pictures are stunning! I love it when artists use the space well like this. Using the window frame as a head rest or holding onto it like a treasured momento. Lovely photos, thanks for sharing!

    • Reply Liz 23. March 2018 at 1:53

      I agree, using the building as details for the artwork is really cool. I think it helps bringing the murals to life.

  • Reply Jordan 22. March 2018 at 23:06

    This street art is absolutely adorable! I especially love the boy and girl sitting across from each other at the dam. Do you know why all these buildings are abandoned? I’m so fascinated by the history now!

    • Reply Liz 23. March 2018 at 1:54

      I actually don’t and I am not sure if they are all abandoned. The problem in a lot of cities in China is that it is now cheaper to go into a new building because the maintenance of the old ones is quite costly.

  • Reply JULIA DORAZIO 23. March 2018 at 8:59

    Who would have thought China (Fengjing) had incredible street art going on? This totally put a new spin on China for me – thanks for sharing this quirky take on China!

    • Reply Liz 23. March 2018 at 10:29

      There are so many cool places all over China. I think the issue is that most of the travel reports focus on the historic parts but art-wise China has a lot to offer.

  • Reply Amy 23. March 2018 at 10:26

    What a beautiful way to use old buildings, I love the way the art reflects in the water

    • Reply Liz 23. March 2018 at 10:28

      I agree, the whole concept is just captivating!

  • Reply Sarah Booth 23. March 2018 at 13:17

    Absolutely gorgeous post. Cannot get over how beautiful the art is and how thought out they are (head resting on the window). What a great way to use old buildings as well as brighten them up 🙂

    • Reply Liz 26. March 2018 at 2:32

      I totally agree, there is so much thought in each and every of the murals.

  • Reply JULIA 24. March 2018 at 2:11

    Who would have thought China had it going on with some remarkable street art! I love how creative it is against its natural backdrop and existing surroundings. Thanks so much for sharing this and changing my perception on what to expect from quaint Chinese towns 🙂

    • Reply Liz 26. March 2018 at 2:34

      It is really creative indeed. You would feel the artworks just came out of the surroundings naturally.

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