cartoon graffiti in 798

Back in December, we came across cartoon graffiti on the Third Ring Road.  When I was recently in the 798 Art District with my friend Cedric, we discovered that the entire area was covered in colorful graffiti, including more of the same funky animal that I had seen earlier.

Here are some examples of other cartoon graffiti in 798, which used to be a factory district (actually, parts of it still are), but in the classic story of gentrification, it has become ground zero for Beijing’s art scene.  The graffiti is beautifully done, and in keeping with the atmosphere of the area.

Lucky cats:

This piece of graffiti is a play on Mao Zedong’s famous injunction to serve the people (为人民服务).  Instead of exhorting the viewer to serve the people, this asks you, “Who do you want to serve?”


What is “foolism”?  I don’t know, but I loved the striking contrast between the paint and the wall.

This is actually a detail from a store that sells bags:

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2 Comments on "cartoon graffiti in 798"

  1. Ben
    10/07/2008 at 11:27 am Permalink

    This is very cool stuff, especially the one with the rabbits. Interestingly enough, when I went to Ulaanbaatar two years ago, one of my first impressions was the enormous amount of graffiti throughout the city. In addition to the graffiti the Mongolians also have seemed to embrace other aspects of hip-hop culture, including rap music, and hip-hop clothing styles. I even saw several Mongolian kids with corn rows. Apparently hip hop is starting to take root in China as well. We’ll have to see how much it catches on.

  2. Jetso
    28/07/2008 at 6:51 pm Permalink

    An interesting entry on 大山子 798 Art District. In my mind, the 2 most impressive grafittis has to be:

    (1)The 3 Maneki Neko (or “Welcoming Cat”) shown at the entrance of many Japanese shops & restaurants with the memorable inscription – “Money, more, more … Forget art; Sell your ass!”

    (2) 你要谁服务?

    Signs of the times indeed…

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