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Find street artist Julien 'Seth' Malland's paintings in Shanghai

Take a day trip to Fengjing to find the artist's colourful murals

Seth's work on show in outer Shanghai (taken from a crane)
One year on from his last trip to Shanghai, street artist Seth (Globepainter) has been back in town the past few weeks, daubing walls around town and in his former painting ground of Jinshan. The mural artist, also known as Julien Malland, is no stranger to Shanghai, having collaborated with locally-based artist Popil in the past, as well as lending his art to walls of under threat lilongs, the Power Station of Art site and farm buildings and houses in rural Jinshan.

Last year, the Shanghai United Foundation and Nippon Paint brought him to Fengjing in Jinshan, where he painted a number of brightly-coloured figures around the old town and in the surrounding countryside. He's been back in this part of town in the past few weeks, adding some new works of art to other buildings and working with local school children.

The areas in which you can find his paintings - both from last year and this - are mostly in and around large-scale agricultural sites, meaning if you go looking for them in the next few weeks, you'll find the art juxtaposed with bright yellow rapeseed and pink and white cherry and peach blossoms. Some of the locations are a little far-flung, but you can take in around half a dozen with a combination of public transport and walking, making for a nice day trip out of the city.

The first step is to get to Fengjing Ancient Town. There's a direct bus around every half an hour (12RMB one way, around 45 minutes) from the bus station next door to Jinjiang Amusement Park metro station on Line 1; you're looking for the Fengmei line (枫梅线) and you want to get off at the Fengjing Pailou stop (the first stop). Head toward the old town area and you'll see some traditional local art on the walls of the apartment blocks next to the car park:

fengjing art

Fengjing itself is a fairly average water town, but if you wander the streets you'll come across more of Seth's work - among the easier works to find is a piece to southwest of the main tourist centre (to the left of the ticket office as you look toward the old town from the bus stop). Keep an eye out for brightly painted walls by local children and artists on the far side of the main car park and follow the small alleyway down to find this piece:

more seth

From here, continue forward to the canal, turn right and head all the way along the 'old street', over a bridge and past the food stalls selling zongzi and traditional frog snacks toward Fengjing primary school. When the street opens out a little on your right and there's a dumpling spot on your left, turn around and you should see this:

seth globepainter

For the works out in the fields, head back to the Pailou bus stop and take the 枫泾六路 (Fengjing 6 route) bus to head to Xinyi village (新义村). Keep an eye out for one of Seth's works en route - a school girl facing away from you taking up the side of an entire house - along with local art on the sides of some of the buildings, and ask for the driver to drop you near the Old People's Activity Centre (新义村老年人活动中心); if the driver doesn't oblige, get off at the 杨树下 (Yangshu Xia) stop - though note that the stops are rarely announced on this route - and walk back the way the bus has just come, taking the footpath straight ahead when the road curves to the right.

Head toward the rapeseed and blossoms, and you'll find the Activity Centre and two more works which have just been completed in the past week; this is one of them:

fengjing old people

From here, it's a bit of a walk to the next works, but if you're hungry for more follow the route the bus was taking and you'll head through flower-laden fields and large areas where the locals are cultivating flat rolls of turf for sale across the city.

turf war

Follow the wooden Chinese-only signs to Xinyi Nongzhuang (新义农庄) - around 1.5 kilometres from the Activity Centre - and look for two works close to the water, including this one:


To get back to Shanghai, retrace your steps to the number 6 bus and from Pailou, get a 8RMB pedicab to the main Fengjing bus station; regular buses leave from here back to Shanghai. Alternatively, you can get a taxi to Jinshan Bei gaotie station, and take a train in to Hongqiao (from 21.50RMB, 20 minutes).