Tianjin Road, literally “Sweet Love Road,” is a tree-lined strip in the Japanese-expat neighborhood of Hongkou District. It is no stranger to graffiti, but it’s only recently been introduced to high art. When young couples’ scribbling got scratched off by district authorities, a team of international graffiti masters was commissioned at the start of 2016 to take back the street. Word on those streets is that we can expect a full-on exhibition in time for CNY (Chinese New Year). Convenient timing or a message from the artists?
Vandals Risk and Lovers Gain
The government of Shanghai cracks down hard on graffiti “vandals.” The stakes are high for artsy night-hawks in Shanghai, but that doesn’t seem to stop the bold taggers among us. Julien Malland. better known as Seth Globepainter was spotted beautifying the demolition sites on Kanding Road this time last year, drawing ex-pats and local twenty-somethings alike to urban ruin. They were pulled down after attracting all kinds of attention online, but not before a few quick-thinking brides got their photos taken.
This time, the exhibition is commissioned by Hongkou authorities fed up with citizen lovebirds’ less than professional doodling, so we can expect it to stay up a bit longer!
So for this Chinese New Year, if you’re looking for something a bit romantic to do, when you’ll probably have the street mostly to yourself (and with Valentine’s Day fast approaching!), maybe go see what’s happening on the walls of Tianjin. Situated around Lu Xun Park, romance blends well with the smell of spring, light and elegant from the Japanese architecture and classic redwood on the sides of Tian’Ai Road itself. There’s even a little café where you can sit and share a hot drink with someone you care about.
Finding a landmark
There is a green postbox with a heart shape painted below on the ground. The story goes that if you find it, your love life will take a turn for the better!
Have you been to Tian’Ai Road? Find a green postbox? Any juicy details?