Mural art village under spotlight

chinadaily.com.cn| Updated : Aug 21, 2020 L M S


The first Chinese little girl mural created by mural artist Chen Siyu in Shangxiaoxi village, Lishui. [Photo provided to chinadadily.com.cn]

Shangxiaoxi village in Jinyun county, Lishui, East China's Zhejiang province, became a trending spot recently, with the walls of its houses being used as canvases for paintings in various styles.

Young street painters from some well-known art schools in China gathered in the village to work on-site from July 5 to 30, bringing the youth and vitality of modern art to the quiet and peaceful traditional village.

The mural art gathering was organized by Chen Siyu, a 28-year-old mural artist who was raised in the village. Though quite young, Chen has been engaged in mural painting for almost 10 years.


Mural artist Chen Siyu creates a new Chinese little girl's image on a wall in Shangxiaoxi village. [Photo provided to chinadadily.com.cn]

After graduating from a college in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, in 2014, Chen started his journey of studying and creating murals across the country.

In 2016, he attended an art exhibition in Singapore. "In Haji Lane, I was impressed by the exquisite street paintings left by artists from all over the world," Chen said.

During his two-month stay in Singapore, he left the Little Girl in Haji Lane. "I want to leave the Chinese little girl here, to present Chinese culture to the whole world."

This year, during Spring Festival, Chen went back to his hometown, and the idea of creating murals in the old village occurred to him.


Chen Siyu creates a new image of a Chinese little girl. [Photo provided to chinadadily.com.cn]

He first created a Chinese little girl, which belongs to the same series as the one in Singapore. The painting went viral not long after Chen posted it on his account on Douyin, a short video app, receiving 796,000 likes in just a few days.

When more and more villagers asked Chen to create paintings on their walls, he began to plan the village painting project, and launched the Shangxiaoxi village art festival on July 5.

Now, due to Chen's efforts, people are drawn to Shangxiaoxi village by its reputation as a mural art village.