After illustrating the varied artistic production of the Kwanyin Clan, one of the most important Chinese graffiti crews, this paper analyses six of their main artworks in detail (styles, techniques, aesthetic conceptions and artworks texts). In these artworks, the Kwanyin Clan tried for the first time to merge Euro-American graffiti practice with the ancient traditional arts practiced and appreciated by the Chinese literati (calligraphy, poetry, painting, seals and ceramics). Comparing the Kwanyin Clan members to ‘modern literati writers’, the present article shows how this crew succeeded in reinventing ancient Chinese art forms using Euro-American graffiti vocabulary, paving the way for a new development of graffiti art in China.
Kwanyin Clan. Graffiti. Contemporary Chinese art. Chinese literati. ‘Three perfections’.