U.S. Embassy Beijing Announces “Art for the People” Public Exhibit

U.S. Embassy Beijing Announces “Art for the People” Public Exhibit

April 2021

“Behind the storm of daily conflict and crisis, the dramatic confrontations, the tumult of political struggle, the poet, the artist, the musician, continues the quiet work of centuries, building bridges of experience between peoples, reminding man of the universality of his feelings and desires and despairs, and reminding him that the forces that unite are deeper than those that divide.” -U.S. President John F. Kennedy 

The U.S. Embassy in Beijing proudly announces the launch of Art for the People, a public art exhibit showcasing street art from the United States.  The Art for the People exhibition is the first of its kind to decorate the exterior walls of the Embassy compound.  This effort highlights the universal value of freedom of expression, as well as our ongoing commitment to direct engagement with the Chinese public.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken: “We want a U.S.-China relationship that includes space for direct, honest, and robust public engagement.  Art for the People represents the diversity of American society. It also embodies our deep commitment to genuine exchange with the Chinese people.”

American cities are home to countless examples of street art–some commissioned and some created organically.  All are part of a rich tradition of public art that proves art does not belong only in private museums or galleries.  Art is for the people, by the people, and represents public expression at its most fundamental.

The goal of street art is not always beauty; sometimes the art seeks to inspire reflection or spark public reaction.  Sometimes it is popular, sometimes it is controversial.  The point is to raise awareness of important issues that affect communities, such as immigration, police reform, or drug addiction. 

In showcasing 23 examples of street art we do not endorse any particular message.  The artists and works on display include the voices of immigrants and visitors to the United States and represent a range of political views and social commentary from communities across the country.  We are proud to create a window into this vibrant and critical part of American arts and culture.

Chargé d’Affaires Robert Forden: “Art for the People celebrates freedom of expression.  We believe that out of the cacophony of public debate American society emerges stronger and more dynamic.”

The outdoor exhibit is scheduled to remain on display for six months and will also be shared virtually on the Embassy’s Weibo and WeChat accounts.

For more information about the “Art for the Peoplepublic exhibit, please visit: https://china.usembassy-china.org.cn/art-for-the-people/