Jisan Ahn - Biography

Work  |  CV  |  Bio

A previous series by Jisan Ahn (1979, KR) showed mounted animals, but in his latest series Ahn painted only one rabbit made of clay. Is this referring to man playing the role of God, giving shape to the world? The series also show nightly forest landscapes, according to the titles we are looking at the scenes of a hunt. But who is hunting whom? Furthermore, Ahn painted a variety of compositions of human limbs. They seem classical in their color and composition, with reminiscence of the old masters. The arms and legs are depicted as a still life, somewhere between alive and dead.
Ahn’s paintings are dark and monumental and when you look close they are coarsely painted. However, if you take two steps back the works show great accuracy.

'The night can clarify everything I think and feel. My senses sharply respond to what I see and feel when all ‘disturbing’ elements have disappeared. In the dark of the night, I try to see time coexist with death and life. I want to show their cohesion. The dark can be associated with so many things that it dimly reminds each and every one of us of something. The vague positioning of objects and figures and the distance that is created when viewing them are linked to traumatic experiences that leave me speechless, experiences of loneliness and hopelessness.’

It's not surprising that the works of the South Korean painter feel ominous: according to Ahn we have no reason at all to feel safe.

Jisan Ahn graduated from the art academy in Seoul (South Korea) and continued with a master studies at the Frank Mohr Institute in Groningen. Last year he finished his residence at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam.

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