Graffiti art comes of age in Korea

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Graffiti art comes of age in Korea


Artists have created graffiti art works inside the museum.

The scrawls of spray paint on a city wall or on a street corner has been recognized as an art form in many countries across the world, but that hip trend has been relatively slow to catch on in Korea.

Some countries have developed graffiti art tours for visitors. If you wanted to do that in Korea, you’d only find a few examples near Hongik University in northwestern Seoul or in Apgujeong in southern Seoul, according to the Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art.

“We thought we needed to have some event that could make locals here start to think about graffiti being one of the cultural elements in the society in which we live,” said the museum in a release.

“Since graffiti usually contains some anti-social messages intertwined with some positive and glamorous elements coming from the young,” the release continued, “it is necessary to think how such an art genre would establish its significance.”

In the exhibition “Art on the Street_Graffiti Art,” which runs until Sept. 21, the museum invited 12 local artists and Japanese artist Imaone to show their works so that more people in Korea can learn about the genre.

Each wall inside the exhibition hall is covered with colorful works. The artists, usually known by pseudonyms, created works for the exhibit. To give a greater feeling of an outdoor space, some objects have been displayed inside the hall, such as a phone booth or the kind of fence set up near construction sites.

Jay Flow, Artime Joe, and Madvictor, who are globally known and who even act as judges in international contests, were among the many that contributed their talents.


Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art presents panoramic works of 13 graffiti artists from Korea and Japan until Sept. 21. Provided by the museum

“Artists incorporated some popular culture elements from Korea, including modern-day fashions and hip-hop music so that they can play a role in leading a trend,” said the museum.

“Some of their works have been used as part of the marketing strategies of large companies, which shows that their works are used in versatile ways.”

Adding one Japanese artist to the exhibition will also give visitors a chance to see how artists outside of Korea have developed their take on the genre. The museum said Imaone focuses on using cartoon-like characters and frames, which is considered more accessible to visitors who are brand new to the genre of graffiti art.

At the venue, there are a total of 13 works that were painted on the spot, along with 50 objects.

BY Lee Sun-min []

The exhibition “Art on the Street_Graffiti Art” lasts until Sept. 21 at Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art in Ansan, Gyeonggi. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Tuesdays to Sundays. Last admission is at 5 p.m.

The museum is closed on Mondays. Tickets for adults are 4,000 won ($3.92), and for students, military officials and teenagers they are 2,000 won. When driving to the museum, it takes about 15 minutes from the Ansan Interchange or West Ansan Interchange.

By subway, go to Choji Station, line No. 4, exit 1 and walk about 15 minutes toward Hwarang Park. The museum is inside the park.

For more information, call (031) 481-7000 or go to

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