Massive mural in Pudong

Nicole Li
A giant mural featuring a group of itinerant animals has joined Shanghai's growing collection of street artwork. 
Nicole Li

A giant mural featuring a group of itinerant animals has joined Shanghai’s growing collection of street artwork. The mural was created on the side of a six-story residential building on Pudian Road in the Pudong New Area, not far from Lujiazui, by Spanish artist Antonio Donat. 

The work took ten days to complete, and was finished on Tuesday afternoon.

Called “Troubadours,” the mural is a surrealistic work full of imaginative detail. True to its name, the creatures in the mural are meant to be a group of traveling musicians, according to Donat, who goes by the name of Dulk.

“I saw a picture of the place. I saw it as an area where people come and go, and it’s moving all the time,” explained Dulk. “I wanted to do a group of characters walking, but not normal characters. You should look at them and think ‘what’s happening?’”

Local resident Xu Zhilian, 63, said she loves the work.

“I was really impressed when I saw it. It not only makes our environment more beautiful but also makes us to think about how to maintain a harmonious relationship with animals,” she said.

The mural is part of an art project launched by Nippon Paint China to enliven urban spaces and promote images of childcare and wildlife protection. 

Artists from all over the world, including Canada, Belgium and Switzerland, have been invited to take part in the project. All expenses are covered by Nippon Paint China.

According to officials from the Weifang Bacun neighborhood, where “Troubadours” is located, Nippon first contacted them about a year ago. They say local residents agreed to the mural in half-an-hour.

But project had further hurdles to clear. Pudong’s greenery authority was concerned that it might effect the environment, and the metro operator feared that the 10-ton crane used by Dulk to create the mural might pose a risk to Metro lines 4 and 6, which were running underneath the community. In the end though, the obstacles were overcome and Dulk was able to get to work.

The first mural in the project was created at a kindergarten in the Zhangjiang High Technology Park in Pudong in 2016. Last year, Pudong got 15 more murals, mostly on neighborhoods and school campuses. One was also created on the side of a police station office building.

“It’s not easy for us to find a proper wall because we want a whole facade along the street, without windows, as to not affect residents and also share the art with more people,” said Rachel Qiu, a representative from Nippon Paint China.

The project has created murals in other districts of the city, including Yangpu, Changning, Xuhui and Putuo.

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