Chengdu “Wall Lords” Graffiti Event in Photos

Last Saturday I attended the Wall Lords graffiti battle in Chengdu, spending the afternoon watching incredible graffiti murals materialize in front of me. My good friend (and now nationally-known) graffiti artist Gas told me about the event a month ago when Xeme, a well known Hong Kong-based writer visited Chengdu to scout locations for the event. They ended up securing a just-constructed church on the outskirts of Chengdu, in the upscale Luxe Hills housing development complex.

In short: a massive graffiti battle attracting crews and writers from all over China, to paint inside a church on a Saturday afternoon. For Chengdu’s humble street art scene, this is the stuff of dreams.

Rather than go on about what a joy the event was (I also had a blast DJ’ing there), I’ll let the photos do the talking. At the bottom of the post, after the photos, you’ll find an exclusive audio interview with Xeme, Hong Kong based graffiti writer and Wall Lords event organizer.

Chengdu 2011 Wall Lords Graffiti Battle Photos

After arriving at the Luxe Hills gate, it was about a ten minute walk up stairs to get to the church. Outside of the church there were about 10 writers doing their thing and inside is where the competition was held and musicians performed. First the outdoor shots:

Chengdu Wall Lords banner

A large banner outside of Luxe Hills made the event location clear

Please don't graffiti here

Walking up stairs to the church, signs urged visitors "Please don't graffiti here"

Wall Lords TBD

Xian-based writer TBD lays down his outline outside of the church

Wall Lords TBD

Wall Lords Chengdu

Security guards look on as TBD applies final touches

Wall Lords Chengdu Kery

Wall Lords Chengdu PlaneWall Lords Chengdu Plane

Wall Lords Chengdu Russian writer

A Russian writer from Saint Petersburg lays down some curved hatches on his outline

Wall Lords Chengdu Russian

Wall Lords Chengdu Guangzhou writer

Guangzhou-based writer Jungle laying about halfway through his Ghost piece

Wall Lords Chengdu Guangzhou writer Jungle

Chengdu Wall Lords group shot

Hanging outside with Gas (left), local rapper Lao Xiong (second from right) and two b-boys

 Photos from Inside the Graffiti Church

Stepping through the massive doors into the giant church was humbling. On the inside there were over a dozen writers from all over China crafting intricate murals across a 20 meter wide space.

Wall Lords Chengdu inside photo

Walking inside the massive church interior where the competition took place

 

Chengdu Wall Lords Russian writer Wais

St Petersburg writer Wais was the sole judge at Wall Lords in Chengdu

Wall Lords Chengdu Russian writer Wais

Wall Lords Chengdu Russian writer Wais

Wall Lords Chengdu Hong Kong INCP crew

Hong Kong's INCP crew's submission was a psychedelic bird

Wall Lords Chengdu Hong Kong INCP crew

Wall Lords Chengdu Hong Kong INCP crew

Wall Lords Chengdu DJ

Wall Lords Chengdu rapper Lao Xiong

Local rapper (and my friend & neighbor) Lao Xiong of Chengdu's Big Zoo crew performs

Wall Lords Chengdu b-boy

B-boy windmills on the Wall Lords print near the church entrance

Wall Lords Chengdu graffiti writer

Wall Lords Chengdu graffiti writer

Wall Lords Chengdu graffiti writer

Wall Lords Chengdu graffiti

Chengdu Wall Lords Eli Sweet

Chengdu based MC and graffiti artist Eli Sweet

Wall Lords Chengdu graffiti

Wall Lords Chengdu graffiti

Wall Lords Chengdu graffiti Trak

Wall Lords Chengdu graffiti Trak

Wall Lords Chengdu graffiti

Chengdu Wall Lords graffiti "B"

Wall Lords organizer and Kowloon-based graffiti writer "B" representing

Chengdu Wall Lords graffiti ABS crew

Graffiti writer from ABS crew visualizes the winning design

Chengdu Wall Lords graffiti ABS crew

Sketching the outline for the epic Poseidon piece by ABS crew

Chengdu Wall Lords graffiti ABS crew

Chengdu Wall Lords graffiti ABS crew

Chengdu Wall Lords graffiti ABS crew

Chengdu Wall Lords graffiti ABS crew

Finishing up the contest winning Poseidon piece at Wall Lords Chengdu

Chengdu Wall Lords graffiti winner announcement

The winning piece is announced on stage by Gas: ABS crew's Poseidon

Bonus: Exclusive Interview with Xeme

Several weeks before the event took place, Xeme scouted the venue along with Gas and made preparations. During that time I met with him, collected details about Wall Lords, and made sure that he’d be available for an interview at the event. Here it is, you can stream or right click and “Save As…” to download the MP3:

Interview with Xeme at Chengdu Wall Lords 2011

Chengdu Wall Lords graffiti writer from Hong Kong Xeme

Hong Kong based graffiti writer and Wall Lords event organizer Xeme

Conclusion

If you weren’t able to attend this event, I hope that the photos give you an idea of what being in attendance was like. It was great to see all kinds of Chengdu citizens, young and old, veteran artists and novices alike, unite to enjoy street art. And Wall Lords selecting Chengdu to host this event can be used as a certain milestone for measuring Chengdu’s cultural development. Overall an outstanding event that I had a blast at.

If you have any comments, post them below!

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About Charlie

Having lived in Chengdu for seven years, Charlie has traveled to every corner of China and back again, calling the Yulin neighborhood of Chengdu his home. He's a part time DJ and full time iPhone game developer, too.

18 Responses to “Chengdu “Wall Lords” Graffiti Event in Photos”

  1. thanks for dropping this.

  2. This here be the illest article on Chengdu graf I dun evah seen vice!

  3. Brendan

    Nice post. This event was pretty dope for lil’ ‘ol Chengdu!

  4. Very nice event ! Never expected to be such thing in Chengdu. Hows chengdu’s illegal/underground graffiti scene ?

    • Yeah, I didn’t expect this either. I started getting really excited when I met Xeme (after seeing his stuff on the streets of Hong Kong for years) and he told me it’d be inside a church.

      Chengdu’s graffiti scene is mostly led by Gas. You see his art and tags all over the place. There are a few other skilled writers in the city, check out the MP3 interview with Xeme above, I asked him that exact question.

  5. Wow! I like how the photos took us from outside the event, to inside.

    Eli, nice smile.

    • It was a tremendous venue – the outside was great but the inside was especially cool. I can’t imagine a lot of churches of this size do things like this.

  6. Awesome event- fantastic venue. Im curious what inspired the real estate company behind the ritzy Luxe Hills to host a graffiti competition in their unfinished church.

    It was an honor to have such elite artists come to Chengdu to paint, and I hope that some of them will come back again in the future.

    Big props to Gas and Xeme, and B, and all of the people who helped to organize the event.

  7. I wish the lighting was a little better. I know that it is hard to light up a venue like that (and it is easy to nit pick) but the spot lights make the light cover on the pieces a little bit uneven.

    • Yeah, it looks like some of the bulbs were out on the lighting truss. It made some of the pieces look better than others since there were dark spots. Like you say though, real tough to nail the lighting in a place like that.

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