Friday, August 27, 2010

Advertising = Art

I had a wonderful time walking around Xiamen. The city doesn't come alive until after dark. Many buildings are covered in garish advertisements and amazing light displays. But it's not unusual to see streets and alleys with no lights, even street lights. It might sound scary, but you feel safe because there are so many people. And even in dark alleys there might be vendors grilling food or people sitting in the street in front of their businesses.

The advertising I saw at night in China makes me realize there is an art movement we in America barely know about. Strange to say, the art form is advertising, and in Xiamen I saw works that could rival anything by Michelangelo. We work so hard to keep our cities clean of billboards and signs, and what do we have? Boring architecture to look at. But in China every modern building is an art gallery, some with displays that change by the week.

View of one block

Club decoration

The end of an alley

This is all one building, note how the advertising (using Western models), is incorporated into the building's decoration:

Club decoration

Club decoration (close up)

This is the front of the building, many of these signs have motion:

One big sculpture of light:

More examples of common place decorations/advertisements:

Lobsters anyone?



Even places as mundane as pet hospitals and gynecological hospitals can light up a neighborhood:

Amity Gynecology Hospital

Pet Hospital

Update: I take my ideas on a walk, and they seem to have legs.

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