AHN Jisan: Storm is Coming
Most of the objects that artist AHN Jisan (b.1979) portrays are placed in a specific setting set by the artist. The anxiety eroded by the situation hides behind various objects, secretly revealing their presence. When one fully faces this anxiety, they will finally be able to appreciate AHN’s works. In the exhibition “Storm is Coming”, the special setting the artist bestows is the ‘storm’. The artist portrays or assumes the imminent approach of the storm or depicts a situation set amidst the storm, and the clouds, and stone mountain as well as the figure Mary represented by the artist expresses human being’s innate anxiety. Rather than solely concentrating on the description of the subjects, the artist focuses on depicting a specific setting and the emotions that arise from the situations the subjects are placed. The artist’s works continuously entail such emotions in his paintings but whereas the previous works depicted mostly enclosed spaces, the new works of this exhibition emphasize the expression of the emotions of the subjects on a wide open space.
The artist’s landscape works specially focuses on clouds. This is because of the influence 17th century Dutch paintings had on the artist, but also closely related to his ruthless obsession on the depiction of clouds. Hence the clouds represent the artist’s ever changing anxiety and desire. The lively versatility of the clouds and their continuously metamorphosing shapes express the anxiety the theme ‘storm’ entails. The cloud serves as a subject of observation as well as a symbol of anxiety. The artist dexterously merges his personal desire and humane anxiety. In this sense, the storm is not only a natural phenomenon, but a representation of all possible human, social, political situation. The metaphorical representation of the anxious human being – the bird, cane, and wolf – comes and goes through the series, highlighting the tension amidst an unsettling situation. Also, Marie, who is significantly emphasized throughout the exhibition, reveals the existential anxiety of the human being by their poignant gaze, kindly inviting the viewers to face these emotions.
AHN Jisan held solo exhibitions at Arario Gallery (Korea) in 2021, Galerie Bart (The Netherlands) in 2020, Johyun Gallery (Korea) in 2018, Zaha Museum (Korea) in 2017, Hapjungjigu (Korea) in 2016, and Galerie Bart (The Netherlands) in 2015-2014. He also participated in a group exhibition at Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art (Korea), MMCA (Korea) in 2020, Savina Museum (Korea) in 2019, Kunsthalle Münster (Germany) in 2018, Daegu Art Museum (Korea) in 2017, ARKO Art Center (Korea) and Gallery LUMC (The Netherlands) in 2016. He participated in a residency at Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten (The Netherlands) in 2013-2014, and won the Buning Brongers Prijzen (The Netherlands) in 2014.