Dispatches from China: Faker Nature

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On the streets of Beijing and Shanghai one can see a shifting trend of the chinese iteration of one of my favorite visual cultural phenomenon: wrapping printed vinyl billboards around construction sites. A few years ago these construction wraps would more often than not depict the site previous to demolition, much like the Hutong printed wall below. The current style seems to focus on presenting images of nature, but the latest iteration is moving toward an impossibly hyper depiction of nature.

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This move away from presenting an idealized past or future (often seen in commercial sites) is an interesting change. Perhaps this trend is in response to a city’s construction fatigue, or tied to a larger move to push tourism to the regions depicted, or even a signifier of a nascent environmental movement.

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All that’s missing from these banners is Julie Andrews running and singing.

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The effect of seeing graffiti on this large printed pictures creates a pleasurable dissonance.

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The use of neutral grey to paint over the graffiti seems even weirdly more meta than usual. Where’s the handy clone tool when you need it?

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Categories: Interesting Printmaking, Print-related


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