Graffiti in Busan: For the People

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It's here and there around town, sometimes hidden on the roofs of buildings or on the back alley walls, but along the 1 km stretch heading north from the Oncheonjeong subway station, you can see the best in Korean graffiti. Artist, Britt Kee Irvin, talked to some of the artists living on the wall including the most renowned, K2. 


BUSAN, South Korea -- As a former resident artist at Agit Indie Space in Busan, I have been fortunate to meet some extremely talented graffiti ‘writers.’ This is the title by which they are known in Korea, where a subculture of dedicated writers has existed for over 20 years.

Korean street art is quite unique when compared to other graffiti cultures around the world. Graffiti was originally imported from America and Japan before taking its own route. It is relatively violence free and writers experience little in the way of repercussions from law enforcement. It is even encouraged in designated places, such as the almost 1 km stretch of walls that runs along the river from the Oncheonjeong subway station to well past the PNU subway station.

A long running member of the graffiti culture known as ‘Hudini’ traces his interest in graffiti to American popular culture. “I have been doing graffiti since 1998. American movies inspired me to paint. In 1998, there was practically no graffiti in Korea,” says Hudini.

To read more and see some great shots of graffiti around Busan go here.


 


 

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