Living in a city of over 20 million people, I am bound to come across some street art. Especially now that the strict laws surrounding street art in Shanghai has lessened a bit. It surprised me that the Chinese word for graffiti is tuya (涂鸦), a word used to describe “scribble”.
Traditionally, graffiti was viewed as criminal art or vandalism in China. If caught painting in non-designated areas, artists would be fined, arrested, forced to paint over their work, or possibly held in jail for a few days.
In an attempt to reverse the negative connotations of graffiti, some artists refer to themselves as aerosol or street artists. At the moment the government allows street artists to only paint in certain designated places and are often supervised while doing so. I have found some beautiful huge murals dotted around the city.
I look forward to seeing what other pieces I can find in this bustling city.