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Subway stations stop human traffic with art pieces

By Liu Xiangrui (China Daily)

14:13, July 10, 2013

A corridor in Beijing's Guomao Station is turned into an art gallery with the exhibition Fresh Beginning for Love. (China Daily)

While commuters often rush at subway stations, several murals along the corridor of one of Beijing's busiest subway intersections have slowed down or stopped the steps of many.

The special paintings are on show for the charitable art exhibition Fresh Beginning for Love, which was recently launched by international paint brand Nippon Paint.

With their bright colors and intriguing details, the murals have turned the ordinary corridor in Guomao Station into a splendid art gallery.

Created by 32 young oil and water color painters, cartoonists and illustrators from China, South Africa, Australia, England, Mexico, Welsh and Guatemala, the paintings will tour other busy subway stations in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

According to Tony Tsai from Nippon Paint, it is natural for the company to establish a connection between art and the company's paint.

"We tried bringing in as many artists of different styles, cultures, and backgrounds as possible to tell their unique life stories and interpret the rich meaning of love," Cai says. The creation of 32 paintings took more than six months, according to Cai.

"I'm happy that the young artists have so many ideas and can blend their life experiences and understanding of colors in their creations," says exhibition curator Auyeung Yingchai, a famous cartoonist based in Hong Kong. "Each painting delivers positive energy that comes from deep inside the artist."

A painting by Beijing-based artist Luo Qianxi depicts her love story with her boyfriend. It has a bright rainbow above and a large dark area below.

Luo says her painting indicates how her boyfriend helped her explore the city of Beijing and gradually discover its good sides. She finally decided to stay with him in the capital, which she disliked for its bad air pollution and traffic.

The subway exhibition, which aims to bring art into daily life, is an innovative idea in itself, says Auyeung.

"We have not only given young artists a chance to show their talents, but also connect more people to art in this way," he adds.

All the artworks will be sold after the exhibitions to raise money for a charity program, which the company initiated to improve the general environment and support art education in rural schools, according to Cai.

The paintings will be brought to Guangzhou's Yuexiu Park Station in July and Shanghai's Nanjing East Road Station in August.

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