Urban Break, Asia’s biggest Urban culture meets Street Art Fair, is held annually in Seoul, South Korea. It hosts artists from Asia and overseas, bringing people from around the world together. Therefore, one can admire artists like D-Face and Bansky, whose work is known worldwide for their uniqueness of empowerment.
The huge art exhibition also had new artists and famous artists from Asia. Urban Break decides its line-up with submissions from the artists. Anyone can submit their work and get selected to be a part of the show. This is one of the many reasons why Urban Break is so unique. Every year they try their best to make each show even better than the last. Moreover, new and favorites artist bring their best work to showcase Korean urban street art, so you can not be disappointed.
Last year’s Urban Break 2022 was filled with artists who not only had great pieces displayed but artists who were working on brand new pieces during the show. There were also live shows from various artists and a few collaborations that stimulated your brain. One could get a chance to talk in many booths and get autographs from the artist.
In addition, Urban Break also had special times and dates for artists like Bansky to get autographs. Art lovers could even get freebies at most booths, which could have been stickers, posters, and even small toys from the artists. The line-up for this year was terrific, but of course, some artists stood out more than others.
Notable artists at Urban Break 2022
Jeong Woo Jae
Jeong Woo Jae and her big dogs. Jeong Woo Jae’s beautiful surreal dogs are next to a woman or young girl. This made her paintings on canvas beautifully stand out. The dogs in the paintings seem to be centered around a beautiful sunny day. Furthermore, what made these paintings stand out were the colors used to make them seem so life-like.
HeyHoney’s pieces were something else. The colors popped in every direction, but what was more impressive was the portrayal of American culture and its way of life. From everyday things to an apocalyptic form of life. In addition, every painting expressed something similar yet different, which made it even more enjoyable.
Kangzi’s pieces were very different from most artists. Its pieces were that of someone looking at different countries and cultures. It was surprising as most of his pieces were of food stands from Mexico or just places around Mexico. The ones that weren’t were famous buildings such as Hotel Budapest.
This gallery had one of the most extensive displays at Urban Break. With an inflatable as big and tall as a tree and small figures that stood out as one passed them. The paintings inside the booth were terrific, colors popped out everywhere you looked. Jun Roy, the artist of this display, created each piece with a unique signature: a creature as white as snow with gold feet, a face, and a crown. Therefore, each painting, even though they were 2-D when looking at them from certain angles, seemed like it could pop out of the canvas at any moment.
Anikoon also had a big display, with its iconic robot right in the center, its portraits full of robots on each wall. The most memorable ones were the ones inside the hearts. Each one showed a different emotion resembling a family at points, love-struck couples, and heartbroken people. No matter where you looked, love seemed everywhere in this display.
Known for displaying its work inside plastic wrapping, Q.Rock’s display was no different this year. Showing paintings inside of the wrapping is a must for them. But what caught my attention was the holographic portraits that, as you moved, showed the items of the paintings inside the wrapping, and as you walked away or stared at them directly, it just appeared to be a painting.
Webtoons had a special display from fan favorites or just some of the most popular Webtoons from this past year. The lucky winners were Gasfard, Joo Dong Geun, Llama, and Han Kyoung Chal. Moreover, two of these authors’ works have been turned into K- dramas Llama’s Tomorrow and Han Kyoung Chal’s Our Beloved Summer, both available on Netflix.
78 Under was a special display. Even though it did not display urban street art, it had a wall full of its iconic shoes. It prides itself in showing culture and art without confinement with each shoe they release. In addition, if you tag them on Instagram, you could get a toy to build and design yourself.
Dr. Groot had a very interactive booth. They also were one of those booths that were not there to display urban street art but had very impressive samples of art related to urban street art. Their booth consisted of an interactive AR or Augmented Reality, where you would stand in front of a camera, and on a unique screen, your face would become their iconic Dr. Groot or another character. Furthermore, this booth made your experience fun. The crew working was beneficial as they would encourage you, and if you were with someone else, to enjoy the experience together instead of alone. They would nicely ask if you needed help filming and would take pictures and videos for you.
Overall, Urban Break this year gave everyone a great experience, young and old, who loves art or urban culture and street art. Whether abstract, interactive, or even traditional art, there was something to look forward to at every corner. If you are ever in Korea during the summer, I recommend coming and checking it out.