Biography

AHN Jisan (b.1979) continuously works with traditional canvas painting, a medium relatively marginalized in the contemporary art scene. His works depict reality, but a reality that is strangely misaligned or distorted. His portrayal of obscure images adds visual tension, and these subjects which have slipped out from reality, projects an even greater uneasiness that brings out their innate anxiety. Upon confronting his work, one instantly feels a sense of discomfort. By accentuating the material properties and in turn applying thick expressive layers of paint, the emotional tension and gloominess is multiplied. In his works, one can sense the artist’s intension to purely express the subject in its raw visual state as well as bring out the absorbed emotions created and embedded within it. These improvised animalistic expressions are possible because the artist has gone through a thorough study and modeling process. The substantiality of the objects are not constructed or reconstructed but are a realization of experienced, felt and penetrated emotions. Rather than describing the subject of conceptual representation through external appearance, the artist’s attitude towards painting is to express reality and the emotional experience of the subject through intuition followed by empathy.


AHN Jisan has held solo exhibitions at Arario Gallery Seoul (Seoul, Korea) in 2021; Galerie Bart (Amsterdam, Netherlands) in 2020 and 2015-2014; and Zaha Museum (Seoul, Korea) and Hapjungjigu (Seoul, Korea) in 2017. He has also participated in group exhibitions at Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art (Gyeonggi-do, Korea) and MMCA, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Seoul, Korea) in 2020; Savina Museum (Seoul, Korea) in 2019; Kunsthalle Münster (Münster, Germany) in 2018; Daegu Art Museum (Daegu, Korea) in 2017; ARKO Art Center (Seoul, Korea); and Gallery LUMC (Leiden, Netherlands) in 2016. He participated in a residency at Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten (Amsterdam, Netherlands) in 2013-2014, and was awarded the “Buning Brongers Prijzen” in 2014.

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