Street Art or Graffiti?

When people ask me what I most enjoy taking photos of, I tell them I like street photography. It doesn’t necessarily require any expensive equipment, you get to walk around and explore and you capture unique moments that aren’t always planned.

One particular thing I find fascinating is street art. When I show people my photos they often say, “Oh you mean graffiti?” To me and to many other people who enjoy or create street art, there is a huge difference between the two.

Street art is designed to inspire, to entertain, to inform and often to express political views. It is done for the audience, not for the individual recognition of the artist. Graffiti, on the other hand, is destructive and is purely for the individual who paints it.

Some people consider tagging to be graffiti, but in some cases I’m not so sure. If a tag is done by someone with the intention of being artistic, rather than for personal recognition, then I believe that is street art, rather than graffiti.

Hiroshima consists of many neighborhoods, each with their own style or unique atmosphere. One thing that connects them all though, is the street art that can be found scattered throughout. In some cases, one particular artist’s work can be found in multiple neighborhoods.

Most of the photos below I took in the lanes and streets around Hondori, the main shopping street in Hiroshima. I took them early one morning so there would be no people around and the artwork could be the main focus. All of these photos I have digitally enhanced using various apps on my iPhone.

You can decide for yourself whether they are street art or graffiti. 🙂

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This final photo is a stencil-type street art which I haven’t seen anywhere else in Hiroshima yet.

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The photos below are from the area south-west of Hiroshima Station. I took these walking home from a Hiroshima Carp game (baseball, for those unfamiliar with the team!) one night last year.

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Finally, my area, Yokogawa, is famous for its mural by internationally-known artist, Suiko, in collaboration with Kac. This mural is on the outside wall of Yokogawa Cinema.

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