Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Shanghai Graffiti: Urban Art Project From Germany

Last May, a group of German graffiti artists came to Shanghai as part of the Expo China 2010 celebration. Akim Walta, the project coordinator, Jens Muller and four other artists comprised this talented assembly known as Hip Hop Stutzpunk.
Their goal was the completion of an urban art project for Expo’s German Pavilion in which they artfully sprayed the walls of Nongtang in Huachi Road, a traditional Shanghai neighborhood. The 60-year-old section of town is actually a lane full of vegetable peddlers and outdoor tailors, but now it is now decorated with western-style graffiti.
These are not the random scribblings that the word graffiti often implies; they are rather, works of art as indicated below in this graffiti of a child taking a bath in an old tin tub painted on the wall of her house.


“One day, I passed Huachi Road and that’s where I got my first impression of a local Chinese neighborhood far away from the skyscrapers. I had the idea to paint something in such a place… It was a gift to the locals… They invited me for lunch to say ‘thank you’. It was great to see them happy,” says artist, Jens Muller aka Tasso.
The Hip Hop Stützpunk has dome many good things for the people of Shanghai. They sponsor many side events and workshop programs to support real sustainability and have formed non-profit partnerships with two dance schools, several music clubs, a Shanghai graffiti school and an artist and magazine collective that sponsors Asia’s largest graffiti contest.


The locals are delighted with the new adornments on the walls of their once drab and uninteresting streets.
“I would say the young people really appreciate this new art form and even the older people in China are much more open than in our country,” Walta told the press.
The Hip Hop Stützpunk (HHS) is a privately financed artistic and cultural youth program in Berlin that in 2008 initiated network development in China with the goal of the two nations coming together. Founder Akim Walta’s ultimate goal is to present Hip Hop culture as a positive and creative global movement.
Graffiti has been controversial since it first appeared in the late 1960s in New York City, but in all fairness, HHS has created something much more refined and far more artistic than the original expressions of the word.



Taken from: Weird Asia News

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