By John Ensor •
Published: 08 Dec 2023 • 16:46
Picasso mural in Shanghai.
Credit: Shanghai Let's Meet/X
Could the art of Malaga’s most famous son, Pablo Picasso, bridge cultures and nations?
In a vibrant display of art and cultural fusion, Shanghai’s metro stations have become the canvas for celebrating the legendary Spanish artist Pablo Picasso and his hometown of Malaga, writes El Español.
On Thursday, December 8, the bustling Longyang Road station in Shanghai’s financial district, Pudong, unveiled the first of three large murals. This marks a significant moment in the ‘Malaga loves…’ campaign, led by Malaga artist Eduardo Luque Puertas, famously known as Lalone.
The campaign has previously seen success in Munich and Basel and now extends its reach to Asia for the first time.
Shanghai Let’s Meet announced the event on Twitter/X: ‘Inspired by the Spanish #art master, and the scenic views of Malaga and #Shanghai, Spanish artist Eduardo Luque, aka #Lalone, will create three murals at Xintiandi, Jiao Tong University and Longyang Road stations.
‘The one at Longyang Road Station will be on permanent display. Check them out during your daily commute!’
The Longyang Road station’s 14×4 metre mural, the only permanent installation among the three, presents Picasso’s portrait surrounded by Malaga motifs, nods to Shanghai, and cubist elements.
The artwork celebrates the 50th anniversary of Picasso’s death and Spain-China relations, drawing parallels between Chinese and Malaga cultures.
Jacobo Florido, Malaga’s deputy mayor of Tourism and Promotion, described the initiative as ‘a peculiar way of promoting a city.
‘It is something different so that people can stop for a moment to delight in an international artist, Picasso, who not everyone knows is from Malaga, but through it we try to attract everyone who has a concern for culture to a city where you can find everything in very little space,’ he said.
Florido emphasized Malaga’s appeal, noting its more than 35 museums, ancient architecture, and ‘first-rate gastronomy’, all under ‘a magnificent time’.
He sees Malaga as an ‘ideal destination’ for Chinese tourists, who value ‘culture and good gastronomy’. ‘We also seek to attract high-impact tourism interested in spending and that pays interest to well-cared-for topics,’ Florido added.
The initiative, involving Turespaña, the Malaga City Council, and the Cervantes Institute, reflects an agreement with Shanghai’s metro operator. This collaboration has previously resulted in several Spanish art exhibitions, including one last month featuring Antonio Lopez and the royalists of Spain.
In the coming days, two more murals will be completed at Xintiandi and Jiaotong University stations, adding to this unique cultural exchange.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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