Seoul Arts Center is hosting The Great Graffiti exhibition until February 26th at the Seoul Callligraphy Art Museum. The collection serves as a testament of how this "vandalistic" art form has evolved into a socially respected form of communication: how it came to be hung inside ivory walls while lit with carefully installed spotlights, captured in mainstream music videos/magazine covers and recognized as symbols that represent certain elements of a contemporary society, that is. The show will feature some 60 works from the biggest names in graffiti art including Crash, Nick Walker, JonOne, Shepard Fairey, Zevs, L’atlas and JR.
The exhibition is organized by artist, each of them who represent a unique insight. It begins with Zevs’s ‘Louis Vuiton’ mural (created for this show) portraying the artist’s iconic liquidation process which plays with the original logo. This melting process allows us to reflect back on what these brands really mean to us, and why we even know these brands. Is it because simply we have been exposed to them or do they talk about how our society is being constantly manipulated to believe in these brands philosophy. Interestingly, although graffiti’s performance is meant to challenge a system, placing these works in a museums setting, allows you to relax, take a step back and begin asking questions in regards to yourself and how you relate to these matters that each artist boldly portrays. Although this exhibition is not meant to give an analysis of the development of graffiti art or an in-depth report of each artist, it does a great job in introducing several of the existing sub-genres of graffiti art that are making a mark in its history.
At the end, the show will have you exit with a sense of power, derived from all the vivid imagery and bold use of colors. With hip-hop making a sensation in the music industry here in Korea, this exhibition is opening at a good time, allowing the audience to further appreciate the act of speaking out in creative ways.