Line 2, which opened in 1984, runs in a rectangular loop for a total length of 23.1 km, with 18 stops around the city centre, tracing the route of the Ming dynasty inner city wall. It takes about 40 minutes to travel the entire distance along the line.
It was on April 27, 1984, that the secretary of the Secretariat of the Central Committee, Hu Qili, gave an instruction during a visit to the metro that it would be better to create murals and provide some sculptures to brighten up the stations. The artists would be allowed to sign their names on the works of art. Thus began the presence of art in Beijing’s subway system.
Only three stations on this line have any artwork. They are: