An American fascinated by Seoul’s street art has dedicated a photo book to the subject.
Author August Tarantino has compiled several books on street art, but this is his first based on art outside the United States.
Tarantino became interested in street art around 1990, when he saw work by Shepard Fairey. He became more interested in the genre on a trip to Guatemala, as the work he saw there focused on the problems the country faced.
|Graffiti in Hongdae from “Seoul Street Art: A Visual Time Capsule Beyond Graffiti”|
“In many cases, more can be understood from street art than from what is covered in the mainstream news media,” he said. “I feel that street art, of all types, in public space is a very positive aspect of community involvement.”
He mentioned some themes in the Seoul artwork that highlighted local problems.
“For example, I started to notice a lot of street art that communicated themes around suicide and self-image,” he said.
He said that there was a lot more English than in other non-English-speaking countries, and that pollution-related themes were common, as they were in other cities.
Tarantino said he did not want to encourage vandalism and was keen to support legal street art. He was encouraged by some of the sanctioned work in Seoul.
“There are some truly amazing mural projects happening in Seoul and it’s nice to see that the city government recognizes the importance of art in public spaces.
“I feel it’s important to help people be open-minded about the definition of street art and graffiti,” he said.
“I advocate legal public art in all forms and especially green or reverse-graffiti that solves a lot of the problems the street art community faces ... namely legality, inhaling chemicals, improving public space and ideal placement location.”
“Seoul Street Art: A Visual Time Capsule Beyond Graffiti” is available in Kindle and paperback versions from Amazon or via www.seoulstreetart.com in PDF and paperback form.
By Paul Kerry (email@example.com