Jisan Ahn

Before applying the paint to the canvas, artist Jisan Ahn collects images from the media, which he first processes in drawings, collages and miniatures. With his oil paintings he wants to question the factuality of media images and he plays with the physical versus the virtual world, the real versus the unreal. Other artists such as Bas Jan Ader and Vincent van Gogh are also sources of inspiration and find their way on his canvases. Furthermore, he draws on his own memory and emotions that are evoked by these situations and events.

Because he had had a carefree childhood, Jisan has always been searching for the feeling of discomfort in himself. When he finds this emotion, he translates it into images with the aim to evoke this discomfort to the viewer as well. In previous work he has accentuated this objective by depicting explosions, slaughtered animals and hunting scenes, yet presently he paints in a more poetic way. A sweater on a coat hanger where snakes roll out of the sleeves, a man who disappears under a huge mountain of black and white photos. The ordinary, the everyday and the repetitive are his subjects. 

• Recent exhibitions at Galerie Bart: Storm is coming – Part II • Everyday 2020 • Seoul Sessions 2018.



Born in 1979 in Busan, Korea, Jisan Ahn currently works and lives in Seoul. Jisan graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the National University of Arts in South Korea and an MFA from the Frank Mohr Institute in Groningen, the Netherlands. He has exhibited in several group and solo exhibitions in South Korea, Germany and the Netherlands. His solo exhibitions include “Storm is Coming” at Arario Gallery in 2021, “Everyday” in 2020 at Galerie Bart, “Cut-Out” in 2018 at Johyn Gallery in Busan, “Untitled” in 2017 at Zaha Museum in Seoul and “Hunt” at Galerie Bart Amsterdam in 2015. He has participated in the group exhibitions ‘NANA LAND’ at Savina Museum in Seoul KR in 2019, ‘Irony & Idealism’ at Kunsthalle Münster DE in 2018 and ‘Irony & Idealism’ at Gyeonggi Museum in Ansan KR in 2017. The collaboration between Jisan Ahn and Galerie Bart dates back to 2011 and has resulted in multiple solo and group exhibitions at the gallery in Amsterdam and Nijmegen.

In 2013 and in 2014, he was accepted as artist in residence at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. He received stipends from the Arts Council Korea and the Mondriaan Fund in 2013 and 2014. In 2014, he won the Buning Brongers Prize. His work is included in the collections of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art and the Arario Museum in Seoul KR and the Deagu Art Museum in Deagu KR, the LUMC and the Rijksakademie in the Netherlands.

• view complete cv as pdf.


2021 •
05.02 Het Parool De angst zit nu meer onderhuids by Edo Dijksterhuis.

2020 •
23.12 GalleryViewer Magazine Een nieuwe vorm van romantiek by Flor Linckens.

2019 •
29.08. NANALAND Exhibition Catalogue editorial.

2018 •
13.02 Juxtapoz Magazine Seoul Sessions by Jisan Ahn and Raymond Lemstra @ Bart Galerie in Amsterdam by Sasha Bogojev
23.02 Het Parool Cultuurschok heeft ook positieve kanten by Edo Dijksterhuis.
29.05 Irony and Idealism exhibition catalogue editorial

2017 •
20.03 Widewalls The Impermanence of Memory by Daniel Lippitsch

2016 •
29.01 De Volkskrant Gevaarlijke konijnen en thuis Nowness kijken by Jeanne Prisser

Jisan Ahn