Hi! This is Hiro. Last weekend I attended an art tour at Busan with other people from art projects all over Kyushu. I was surprised that the plane only took 40 minutes. Busan is so near!
I arrived at night and called my contact Sim, who told me to phone again once I got a taxi, so I went out of the airport and the drivers started calling me into their cabs. I rode one of them and called Sim, but there was no reply and there I was, riding a taxi with no destination… I called many times but there was no way to talk to my friend. After 10 very tense minutes I remembered the hotel’s name which was a big relief. And of course, my fare was more expensive than expected…
The following day we rode a bus and visited some art spaces and artists’ studios in Busan. The colorful houses on the mountain were beautiful. Looks like the city bought the empty houses and some of them will be used for an artist in residence program. They said it would start around June.
Then we went to indie culture space Agit. They have a residence program and studios for artists to work. They even have a real music studio to produce and record music! The building was a kindergarten before, and everyone is allowed to paint graffiti on it so there were a lot of them. They are very enthusiast and zealous to protect underground culture.
There were some big frescoes in town. It seems that last year there was a project to create urban art in Busan with German and South Korean graffiti artists. I got the impression that South Korea’s recent artistic activity and budget for art are impressive. The day they will conquer the world through art and K-pop is near!
After being told about many great initiatives, it was my turn to introduce Studio Kura’s residence program and Itoshima Arts Farm to our South Korean hosts. It was a honor to talk to them and I hope this leads to more collaborations with art projects from Busan. I really appreciate Mr Miyamoto and Sim Woo Hyeon giving me this great opportunity!