Street Art in Seoul: Ihwa-dong

(See page 2 for German version)

I like artistic street art that is more than just some graffiti spraying, and I especially like it, when it reflects the special characteristics of a city in a creative way. After watching the Korean series „Rooftop Prince“ with its scenery, I therefore just had to visit Ihwa-dong during my trip to Seoul in July, in order to find out more about Korea`s street art.

Leaving Dongdaemun subway station you will first find yourself in the middle of what I would call Seoul`s typical cityscape, with a wide and busy street, a few street stalls and some impersonal coffee shops on the sides. However, once you turn into one of the narrow streets that wind their way up to Naksan Park, you are suddenly in a very different world with small charming cafes, houses with decorated walls and colorfully painted staircases. The street art that can be seen around here, fits perfectly into its environments and contributes to the nostalgic flair of the steep alleyways and cozy-looking houses. Said to have been started as an art project by the Korean government 2006 in order to help revitalize the neighborhood, the art has long become an inseparable part of this area. Besides the big paintings and art installations that cannot be missed, there are also some smaller images here and there, disguised as an electrical junction boxes or making a street light suddenly look beautiful. There is so much to discover that I would like to come back here again someday.

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