Street Art & Graffiti in Hongdae, Seoul (South Korea)

Let’s check out some of the graffiti and street art pieces in and around the district of Hongdae (홍대앞) a busy shopping, café, nightlife and residential area near Hongik University in Seoul, South Korea . It is well known for its street art.

Click on any of the below images to open the gallery slideshow. You can view the entire set of photos in this series (over 200 images) at a higher resolution (2048×1365) at Flickr: Seoul Street Art (Hongdae) Photo Album.

I took these photos one Sunday morning during a weekend trip to Seoul during late August 2013. The area is between Hongik University Station and the main gates of the university itself. One interesting thing about the street art in this district is that it is a mixture of vandal-style tagging, more elaborate pieces, works that seem to have been commissioned by business owners and publicly displayed art (like the black and white work of drawn faces with photographed eyes).

Here is a video montage I created for my background music series (see below) using these images:

I was wondering whether to include the negative imagery of the graffiti artist behind Nana-is-Real, as it is negative and the imagery seems pro-depression, pro-cutting and pro-suicide, but I decided to include them as the colors, text and images work together to powerfully convey a kind of aggressive self-loathing—a ‘Scream’ for the youth of today. If you dislike those images, please stick around for the lovely cows!

Hongdae, known for its trendy cafes and boutiques, also has a wild nightlife, so it was looking awfully grubby in the early morning light, with stragglers from the night before stumbling out of bars onto streets strewn with rubbish. I had briefly visited the area the afternoon before and it looked a lot more chic and inviting. I guess Saturday night had taken its toll.

About the Music

This seven-minute dub-inspired song, Dubtitution, is the 31st song in the free background music series ( You can use the song for free in non-commercial projects as long as credit is provided: music by longzijun. You can refer to the terms of use of use here: Free Background Music Series Terms of Use.

Sometimes when I compose music, I take a particular style as a starting point and then create something that is inspired by the style but at the same time quite different. This song is inspired by early eighties dub from Jamaica (think Sly and Robbie, not the dubstep of Skrillex), but in my song, the tempo is faster, the arrangement is far busier, the drum sound is heavier and there is less reverb.

More Street Art in Artjouer

Street Art in Shoreditch London
Street Art in Shoreditch, London
Street Art in Vancouver, Canada
HKWALLS 2018: Part 1 (Hong Kong)

~photos and text by

Return to Artjouer’s Street Art Section



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