The Beijing public has been asked to help choose the art designs for 39 new subway stations along lines that are due to go into service by year's end.
Public art in subway stations includes sculptures and murals, and it is the first time the city has asked the public for its opinions of the potential designs, the Beijing News reported Monday.
According to the website of Beijing Municipal Commission of Urban Planning, residents can comment on the designs until Sunday.
Yu Huayun, director of Beijing City Sculpture Construction and Management Office, said Monday that the 86 art designs posted on the website are for stations along four uncompleted routes, subway lines 6, 8, 9 and 10.
The designs were mainly conceived by teachers at the China Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA), said Yu.
"The designs can be replaced if there is a better suggestion from residents," he said.
Yu said that he had received a letter from a retired physics teacher who wants to contribute to the public art in subway stations, and they will contact him to look at the design.
Many of the submitted designs reflect the style of the above-ground areas, said Yu.
For example, as Chegongzhuang Station on Line 6, Xicheng district, is near Meilanfang Theater, a suggested design incorporates figures from Peking Opera in the mural.
Li Sichen, 29, a resident in Beijing, told the Global Times that the city should make good use of the space in subway stations as it can show a city's characteristics and let people know its history.
"It's like Baker Street [subway station] in London where passengers can see the image of Sherlock Holmes, which reminds them of the culture specific to the city," she said.
He Wei, a teacher in the school of architecture of CAFA, said that compared with Western countries, public art in subway stations in China is still a new thing.
"But it is progressing," he said.
The first public subway art consisted of murals in stations along line 1 and 2 in the 1980s.
"For the Beijing Olympics, three-dimensional artworks appeared, such as the pillars decorated by blue and white porcelain along stations in first phase of Subway Line 8," he said.
Sections of subway lines 6, 8, 9 and 10 are due to start public operations by the end of 2012.