People-Powered Art: Chinese Pedestrian Paintings Remind Urbanites of the Benefits of Walking

Jody Xiong of the innovative marketing and branding firm DBB China, working alongside the China Environmental Protection Foundation, undertook this ambitious art-in-action piece to remind urban dwellers of the benefits of getting around on emissions-free feet instead of via pollution-spewing vehicles.

White canvases, each pre-painted with a leafless tree, were stretched across the 132 sidewalks in fifteen Chinese cities. Just as the bipedal city dwellers stepped toward the crosswalk, they first intercepted a giant ink pad embedded with green paint that would then transfer to their shoes and leave a “leaf” print behind. The result? Trees in bloom!

The marketing agency estimated that nearly 4 million people helped create the trees, several of which were later used as billboards.