Looking down from the hot air balloon, tourists marvel at a painting covering the ground at the East Lake Scenic Area in Wuhan, capital of central China’s Hubei Province.
Covering an area of 6,000 square meters, the painting depicts a koi fish, which represents good luck in Chinese culture, and Wuhan’s iconic Yellow Crane Tower.
It was created by the Super Painters, a group of young artists who paint on surfaces such as floors, walls and electrical junction boxes to add color to public spaces in the city.
The team has completed hundreds of works around Wuhan, which are found in popular tourist spots, business districts and apartment buildings. Some of the paintings are so eye-catching that passers-by stop to take photos, while short videos of the paintings have gone viral on social media.
“The paintings are not just art, but a showcase of the city’s spirit and culture,” says Zhang Hao, 32, founder of Super Painters.
Zhang graduated from Hubei Institute of Fine Arts and established the team in 2016. Having lived in Wuhan for more than 10 years, he has a deep affection for the city. Therefore, the symbols of Wuhan are always a theme in his paintings.
“I grew up near the Yangtze River. I want to raise people’s awareness of ecology protection through the adorable smiles of finless porpoises,” Zhang said.
When Wuhan started renovating some old residential buildings in 2019, the team got a permit to put a picture of the finless porpoises on the 200 square meter wall of one of the apartment buildings, which turned out turned out to be a great success. Since then, the team has produced several other murals featuring the finless porpoise.
Team member Hu Meiting, 25, decided to join the Super Painters when she saw the ground painting in the East Lake Scenic Area. “It’s so cool to draw such a big picture that can only be fully appreciated above ground,” she says.
“They’re chasing their dreams so hard, and I’m proud to be part of the group,” she adds.
Now the team is professionalizing and has formed a standard operating procedure. “We will continue to decorate our city with paintings and stick to our goal of making the city more beautiful,” Zhang said.