South Korea has seen a fair amount of transformation over the last few decades where economic growth and urban advancement have defined it as one of the most progressive countries in the world. This continuous growth has changed the rest of the world’s perception of its identity as one of wealth and progress. Located in South Korea's second largest city, Busan, the world’s tallest mural has been erected with the Haeundae l'Park building designed by Daniel Libeskind in its background. Standing 70 meters (230 ft.) high, the piece is considered Asia's tallest mural. Designed and painted by German artist, Hendrik Beikirch, the piece showcases a monochromatic palette of a fisherman representing a significant portion of Korea's population, which as of yet, has not been positively affected by the country’s booming economic growth and who live under different circumstances to their affluent counterparts. The mural itself resides in the fisher union and fish market building used by the local population.
As mentioned before, the mural depicts a fisherman from the 60's, staring into an undefined space marked by his facial wrinkles. The fact that he still wears long plastic gloves demonstrates how a large percentage of Korea’s population continues to struggle in order to make a living. Although nostalgic in sentiment, the portrait is also positive Beikrirch has added a statement at the bottom of the mural which reads, "Where there is no struggle, there is no strength." The mural attests precision, muscle memory and endurance as Hendrik Beikirch painted it without a projector or a prior sketch on the wall.
Beikirch's works have featured all over Europe, Mexico, Chile, Australia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Russia and other countries. His work is an environmental installation as well as a performance that detaches itself from the sea of advertisement art that floods cities around the globe. In doing so, he activates public spaces and connects viewers into the built environment and beyond.