Old Version

Making Murals May Become a Lost Art

Commercial interests and lack of innovation mean creativity in wall art risks becoming stifled

By Zhang Qingchen Updated Oct.13

The art of mural-making is at risk of going into decline in China, due to overcommercialization, a lack of ability to innovate, and being marginalized as a skill at art academies, according to Party news portal the People’s Daily Online.  

As public art, the standards of producing murals and wall art have been distorted by commercial interests. Unprofessional companies or teams obtain certification to make murals, but what should be an artistic endeavor is cheapened to maximize profits. Mural-makers lose their creative independence and initiative due to overwhelming market-oriented ideas or suggestions. As well, they are impacted by modern architectural design concepts, so the mural makeover is oversimplified.   

When it comes to muralists who are influenced by current commercial interests, they no longer concentrate on the composition and the content of wall paintings; instead, they cater to the bosses or sponsors and follow the marketing routines to express what investors want to show. Such wall paintings eventually lose artistic value and those profit-seeking "artists" gradually lose the passion for innovation, the People’s Daily Online warned.    
Moreover, mural art at the academies is always marginalized. Apart from the inconspicuous and ambiguous status of the discipline, students who are interested in wall art in general lack the necessary humanistic and literary knowledge, so cultivated students are not capable enough to integrate rich cultural accumulation into mural creation.