AHN Jisan (b.1979) works with traditional canvas painting, a relatively marginalized medium in contemporary art. His works depict reality, but one that is strangely misaligned or distorted. The depiction of obscure images adds visual tension, and these subjects, which have slipped out from reality, project an even greater uneasiness that brings out their innate anxiety. Upon confronting his work, there is an instant sense of discomfort. The emotional tension and gloominess are amplified by accentuating the material properties and mounting thick, expressive layers of paint onto the canvas. AHN's intention to express the subject in its raw visual state brings out the absorbed emotions created and embedded within it. These improvised animalistic expressions are possible through a thorough study and modeling process. The substantiality of the objects is neither constructed nor reconstructed but is, in fact, a realization of experienced, felt, and penetrated emotions. Rather than portraying the subject of conceptual representation through obvious imagery, the artist expresses the reality and emotional experience of the subject through intuition and empathy.


AHN Jisan was born in Busan in 1979. He received his BFA in Fine Art at Korea National University of Arts in 2006 and MFA in Painting at Frank Mohr Institute, Groningen, Netherlands in 2011. He has held solo exhibitions at various institutions including Galerie Bart (Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2023; 2020; 2015; 2014), ARARIO GALLERY SEOUL (Seoul, Korea, 2024; 2023; 2016), Zaha Museum (Seoul, Korea, 2017), Hapjungjigu (Seoul, Korea, 2016), and more. He has participated in group exhibitions at ARARIO GALLERY SEOUL (Seoul, Korea, 2024; 2023; 2016), Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art (Ansan, Korea, 2020; 2017), National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Cheongju, Korea, 2020), Daegu Art Museum (Daegu, Korea, 2017), Jeonbuk Museum of Art (Wanju, Korea, 2016), Arko Art Center (Seoul, Korea, 2016), and more. In 2013, he was the artist-in-residence at Rijksakademie Van Beeldende Kunsten (Amsterdam, Netherlands). In 2014, AHN won the Buning Brongers Prijzen (Amsterdam, Netherlands). His works are collected by numerous institutions including National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art’s Art Bank, Seoul Museum of Art,  Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, ARARIO MUSEUM.