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The oldest Mosaic Mural in Beijing

Do you know where the oldest mosaic in Beijing is? This huge mural is at the platform of  Dongsi Shitiao subway station in Beijing. Made in 1985 at 70 meters long and almost 3 meters tall, it is clearly the largest! It is called Towards the World, and depicts 30 athletes playing 22 different kinds of sports.


Details of mosaic mural , 1985, Dongsi Shitiao metro station, Beijing

Mosaic Mural, Dongsi Shitiao Metro Station, Beijing

Detail of mosaic mural,1985, Dongsi Shitiao metro station, Beijing


Mosaic mural, 1985, Dongsi Shitiao Metro Station, Beijing

The Mosaic was designed by Li Huaji and Quan Zhenghuan. The cement tiles were made by Tangshang Arts and Crafts Factory and the mosaic was assembled by Haidian Yongfeng Construction Company in April 1985 . It was the year after Beijing had been awarded the hosting of the 1990 Asian Games. Archery, discus throwing, cycling, fencing, and swimming are all represented in the mural, which consists of thousands  of ceramic blocks, each  of about two centimeters long. The piece delivers the message that ‘Chinese athletes achieve international honor and bring glory to the country’, thereby extending good wishes to the Asian Games

After more than 30 years, the mural had suffered damage due to the constant vibration caused by subway trains. Lots of pieces had been lost . Restoring the mural was considered difficult because the original material and designs are lost. Moreover, the hours during which restoration work could have been done, were limited, as workers can only make repairs when the subway is closed within the  short period of only 3 and half hours at night. Despite all these difficulties, the Beijing Metro Company began to look into the restoration of the mosaic mural in 2017. In order to complete the sophisticated restoration work, the company set up a special working group, which invited experts and scholars from the China Cultural Relics Protection Technology Association and the Department of Ancient Architecture of the Forbidden City to share their expertise. They carried out the work with reference to the restoration methods of the cultural preservation community.

September 2019, on the basis of several  consultations, the repair work of Towards the World was officially launched, and various companies carried out overall investigation of the damages such as the detection of empty spaces behind the mosaic tiles, research for material and color matching of missing parts , cleaning and finally the replacement of the missing tiles.

Details of mosaic mural , 1985, Dongsi Shitiao metro station, Beijing

The 70-meter mosaic has complex colours and different shapes. The biggest problem was the loss of broken gold medals. Zhao Shengliang, the manager of the restoration project, said that at first, they couldn’t recreate the original design due to the pieces of the medals  being broken. The Chinese movie Winning the Championship gave the conservators an interesting idea. After comparing medals from different Olympic Games, they identified the medal as that of Xu Haifeng, the first Chinese gold medal winner at the 1984 Los Angeles Games. Finally they found the model to make the replacement.  After an arduous process, the restoration was finally complete in August 2021.

Mosaic Discovery in Berlin

Last year on a beautiful blue sky summer day I walked from Berlin Hauptbahnhof to Spittelmarkt – always along the Spree and later the Spree Kanal. It’s a wonderful walk that I could recommend every visitor of this vibrant city.

I was stepping through a lot of history of this city and my own life. Without intentionally looking for them I saw several mosaics on the way.

On Bertold-Brecht- Platz stands a typical Berlin late 1900 multi story building which houses the famous restaurant “Ganymed” . Above the entrance door with the restaurants name (also a mosaic) you find in an imaginary niche another small beautiful mosaic.

Schiffbauerdamm 5, Berlin, Mitte

The mosaic was installed in 1892/93 to attract visitors to the theater “Berliner Ensemble” . Only in 1997 it was discovered again. The workshop “ wandwerk” restored this mosaic to its full beauty.

Walking on along the Spree Canal my glance gets attracted by a huge mural on the Friedrichsgracht 58. It’s the mural “ Man, measure of all things” by Walter Womacka, who has designed this epic mural in 1968 for the ministry of construction of the former East German Government. It would do a good illustration for Yuval Harari’s book “ Homo Deus”

Then I take a bike to Alexanderplatz and its huge 4lane avenues. At the crossroad of Otto-Braun-Strasse/Karl-Marx-Allee I finally take a close look at the large mosaic mural of Walter Womacka on the former “Haus des Lehrers”. It’s described as one of the largest mosaic murals in Germany and is present in my memory since childhood days.

Now I have to go up the hill to visit a friend in one of the typical Berlin residential areas “Botzow Viertel” On my way my eyes spot these adorable mosaic figures on a playground in Pasteurstrasse (opposite building 24)

contemplating about these mosaics it strikes me that mosaic art is present in our lives since centuries. Only on this walk I came across mosaics from 1890s, 1960 and the present. Not even set out to look for them. They just sprang into my eye on an afternoon walk.

Such a pleasure working with Mosaic Lovers in China

MosaicMoments studio started its journey in China in 2019. During these 3 years, we have held 15 beginner workshops with about 100 people.



“The learning process of making mosaics was so fascinating. Your studio is like an enchanted place decorated with your exquisite mosaic works, with all kinds of materials and tools in good order, and serene music in the background. Here I met friends from all over the world.  We shared the same enthusiasm and enjoyment of learning the mosaic art. We learned from, inspired and appreciated each other’s work. You gave each of us individual attention and insightful detailed instructions for our projects.”   ——Chaoying from China 来自中国的超英

4 Community Mosaic workshops were conducted with 130 participants.

“Thank you Gertrud and your team for the diligent preparation and introduction into the world of Mosaic. I enjoyed the creative and relaxing atmosphere so much and, contributing a small unit to the master piece was rewarding experience. The food and social set up was most inspiring. Great people and great fun!”

感谢 Gertrud 和您的团队为马赛克世界所做的辛勤准备和介绍。我非常享受这个创作和轻松的氛围,为一副优秀的作品贡献一小部分是十分有成就感的体验。同时,和很棒的人一起分享食物和交谈是最鼓舞人心的。这是一次很有乐趣的经历!

——Cinderella von Dungern from Germany


“Mosaik legen bedeutet für mich eine Auszeit vom Alltag – 2 Stunden kreativ sein, auch haptisch gefordert sein und handwerkern, um später gelöst und glücklich das Leben wieder auf sich wirken zu lassen!

Mosaic is an escape from duty and routine – I can engage in the method as well as my self-created piece of art, fully emerge in the task, and later disengage and feel happier than I was before!”


——Andrea from Germany来自德国的Andrea

During the time in Beijing, MosaicMoments integrated China’s ancient porcelain shards into mosaic making. The collision of cultures brings participants joy and makes the workshops more diverse.


This adventure has been such a wonderful time, but it’s time to say goodbye. We appreciate everyone’s bravery to explore mosaic, this ancient art form in our modern world. After joining the workshops, hopefully everyone has developed an eye for mosaic which can help you discover the mosaics hidden everywhere in the city.




MosaicMoments is moving from Beijing to Berlin. Best wishes to everyone and Goodbye!


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