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This paper examines the blending of subcultures through the arts by studying the work of Afro-Korean themed graffiti paintings by Chris Chanyang Shim. Also known as Royal Dog, the Korean graffiti writer spends time in South Korea and Los Angeles creating murals. Shim is best known for his Hanbok series that incorporates the Korean and African-American cultures through depicting black sitters in traditional Korean dresses. The variety of black sitters highlight the diversity of African-American peoples, while his use of Korean imagery such as the hanbok, calligraphy, and native Korean flowers add a delicateness to his murals. In addition to analyzing the formals elements and iconography in his work, this paper seeks to relate these artistic choices to Shim’s desire for peace and unity reflecting on a time of division between the two people in LA’s recently history. Through the seamless amalgamation of Korean and African-American preferences, Shim brings the distinctive cultures together in a harmonious balance allegorically. I argue that Afro-Korean synergy so beautifully presented in the Hanbok series contains a powerful message: By acknowledging and respecting the dissimilarity between two different cultures, we may strike a balance between them by creating something new that honors both parties’ aesthetics and values.


This is a metadata-only record.



  • Subject
    • Visual Arts

  • Institution
    • Dahlonega

  • Event location
    • MPR 2

  • Event date
    • 22 March 2019

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Yanfei Zhu