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Hendrik Beikirch ECB mural Busan

Murals have featured a few times on the blog, but none at the scale of Hendrik Beikirch's (aka ECB) latest mural in Busan, Korea. It's street art on steroids, transcending the street to become 'city art' with a scale that rivals Daniel Libeskind's gleaming skyscraper.

Placed on Busan's fisher union building, the 230-foot long mural is manually painted with no guide, relying only on instinct and the gesture of the hand. Depicting a wrinkly old fisherman, it is visual food for thought about the disparity of wealth in Korea (also applicable to many other countries in this day and age). Even the architecture performs the part in this commentary, with a staunch rectangular prism in Modernist white, next to the curve-topped, blue glass towers. The message is that the economic boom of recent times has not reached everyone, despite the hypothetical trickle down effect, and many still live in a harsh world where in old age one must don the protective fishermen gloves.

The mural reminds me of JR's street art, also of large portraits but with a different take. The common theme of using portraiture in highly public art is that it connects to every one of us. The eyes implore our own minds of the issues we do not see or would rather not see.

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