Graffiti Beijing

A once-flourishing street art has been scrubbed out – Lance Crayon

In preparation for the 2014 APEC economic summit in Beijing, a city-wide cleanse was underway. Street workers armed with grey paint covered every piece of graffiti they could find. Even the sanctioned graffiti area at Renmin University, known by locals as the “Wall of Beijing”, wasn’t spared. Within a week, most of what remained from the city’s budding graffiti movement was gone.

“The rapid development is so out of whack and the population has become too saturated, just living here is overwhelming,” said Wreck, a graffiti writer born and raised in Beijing.

When he was in college, Wreck joined KTS (Kill the Streets), a graffiti crew that has since become one of the most respected in the country. Their tags used to be ubiquitous in the capital. Nowadays, he might throw up a piece once a month.