Asia's Tallest Mural Is a Emblem of Economic Disparity

Asia's tallest mural, by artist Hendrik Beikrich, is a 230-foot high depiction of economic inequality.

In Busan, South Korea's second largest city, German artist Hendrik Beikrich (aka ECB) has finished painting Asia's tallest mural. The a 230-foot high portrait of a wrinkled, albeit proud, fisherman sits in stark contrast to the gleaming Daniel Libeskind-designed building Haeundae I’Park, in the background.

South Korea has seen rapid growth and an influx of wealth over the last couple of decades, yet there is still a wide income gap. Beikrich's fisherman represents the majority of the population who has not yet benefitted from the country's economic boom and is still living under harsh conditions.

The aging fisherman wears gloves to signify that he is still working into his later years—like many others in the country—and receiving little financial reward. But despite these depicted hardships, Beikrich punctuates the portrait with a message of hope, writing in Korean at the bottom, “Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.”

Contrary to how large-scale paintings are often made, Beikrich completed this ambitious project without the use of a projector or sketches on the wall, instead relying on the precision of his own hand. Beikrich is known for his thoughtful, monochromatic portraits, mostly of elderly people around the world that he secretly sketches for his ongoing series, “Faces of Hope and Struggle." The fisherman, stretching hundreds of feet high, is his latest accomplishment.

Photos courtesy of Public Delivery