When most people think or talk about Beijing today, the focus is on pollution or the crowds Rarely do they think, “Beijing? Great graffiti!”
“Here in the US, we tend to think of graffiti as an illegal activity carried out by kids at night. But in China, the street art scene is quite different.”
Lance Crayon, a Texas native who has been living in China since 2009, made a documentary on graffiti artists in Beijing and found just how different tagging culture is there.
“It’s really a middle class and up endeavor, simply based on the money factor,” he says. “For a 19-year old or even a 25-year-old to have something known as disposable income, that’s a pretty new thing in China. And you’ve got to ask yourself, do I want to spend 500 kuai — which is roughly $82 — on throwing up a piece that could easily be covered in a few days, or at some point.”
This leaves Beijing with only a small number of graffiti artists — nor more than 25 by Crayon’s estimate.
Here is the trailer of the film:
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