Just a ten minutes uphill walk along Seoul city wall near Daehakno district sits the Ihwa Mural Village. Climbing away from the city, the air clears, the noise stills and suddenly as you reach the very top of Mount Naksan you find a village dedicated to something quite unexpected; street art.
Eleven years ago, Ihwa ‘moon village’ (so called because of it’s fantastic hill-side views of the moon) had been destined for destruction, due to it being rather run down and slum-like. Historically, moon villages were homes to the working class, who couldn’t afford housing down in the flatter, central parts of the city.
The village was saved in 2006 by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, who decided to transform the village as part of their ‘Art in the City’ initiative. Artists selected by the committee were commissioned to design 64 installations under the theme of ‘Mix, Connect and Get Together’. Over the course of six months, 70 painters (including local volunteers, art college students and visiting artists) covered the village from schools to homes, underpasses to stairways, walls, fences and rooftops with beautiful and diverse murals. Continue Reading