If you have ever walked down East London’s Shoreditch or Melbourne’s famous street art laneways you will noticed two things, beautiful art work from talented artists and a lot of people there to take in the sights. The internet and social media has made our large world feel significantly smaller as news travels fast and there is never a lack of it. This is what Jinmankeng village is banking on.
A Chinese village has taken this idea and turned it into a way to promote tourism. Jinmankeng village (in Tiantai, south of Shanghai) is lining its roads with street art in order to boost tourism. The village recently held a graffiti competition as well turning an entire road into a canvas for street artists, and it seems to be working.
The idea may sound strange but other cities have actually seen more visitors since street artists graced them with their work. Brim, Australia, a town of only 261 people, gained more attention and visitors after Guido van Helten painted four massive silos there. Another example is the village of Fanzara, Spain, with only a population about 320 people, thanks to over 40 murals, the village is now considered the street art capital of Spain. Also, lets not forget the hype around Banksy's Dismaland.
Perhaps street art tourism goes against the subversive roots of graffiti but the people want what the people want and that is street art. Let’s hope more cities follow suit.