Evangelicalism, Shamanism, Buddhism, Confucianism. Place together in a Hot Stone bowl and crack an egg on top. Stir.
New York Street Artist Gaia talks to BSA about his second in a series of street art pieces he is doing in Seoul, South Korea, which are combining religious and traditional cultural symbols in ways not seen before.
BSA: What have you been learning about your host country that affects your street art?
Gaia: Korea is an amazing place to work in because it is so culturally rich and ripe with tradition and folklore. But furthermore, it has westernized at such an incredible pace that there is a deep schism between the traditional and the contemporary. That conflict makes for an exciting environment to make hybrid work, to explore these boundaries. For example, the tiger rabbit is the annual cycle but also the shift in identity from Korea’s representation as a rabbit under Japanese colonialism, to its assertion with the coming independence the peninsula of the tiger.
BSA: Who is the figure in the new piece you just completed?
Gaia: The piece is of a Buddhist monk image from the door of a small temple in the mountains that I was visiting for field research. With the wave of (Christian) evangelicalism that has arrived with the western wash that is suffusing Korea right now, I thought it would be pertinent to hybridize/subvert the old tradition with the new influence. Shamanism and Buddhism were expelled from the city of Seoul when the Joseon Dynasty adopted Confucianism.
BSA: This looks like Buddist imagery combined with your classical hands from earlier pieces.
Gaia: The Image of buddhism has returned to the the walls of the palace just a block away from the gate of Gyeongbokgung, the time by the hands of a westerner, and contrasted with praying hands inscribed with the symbols of St Andrew; A portrait of passing times.
Here’s the New Video of Gaia’s “Praying Monk”
Other Articles You May Like from BSA:
Anyone in New York will tell you that the adage holds true if you are trying to get your dream to happen in this city– a band, a restaurant, a store, a website, a clothing line. It could be a genius ...
Our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Gaia, Ludo, Liv, MBW, Beau, Yote, Clown Soldier, Faile, Man Standing, Roa, Sweet Toof, Headhoods, and Holy Family
First day of Autumn, Yo! And we have been harvesting images for you as we enter the new season in NYC. Here is our weekly interview with the street, including CAM, Dasic, Icy & Sot, ILL, Jessi...
"The Language Of The Wall. Graffiti / Street Art" Pera Museum. Istanbul, Turkey No Street Artist is a prophet in his own land, to paraphrase the Latin "Nemo propheta in patria". To see a large show ...
A great many things underway here in Berlin for the debut of "Persons of Interest", a show of 12 artists who have worked on the streets of Brooklyn bringing their A Game to Berlin. This group of talen...