Artist Ahn Chang-su starts painting at 60 and makes presence in oriental painting

김태인 기자l승인2021.04.23l수정2021.04.23 10:42

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▲ Artist Ahn Chang-su

(PowerKorea) Artist Ahn Chang-su was born in Yangsan City. He studied at Busan High School and majored in economics at Yonsei University. He worked for Export-Import Bank of Korea for 30 years and served as an advisor at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering. Retired from all of his works, he went back his hometown to spend the rest of his life.

He was spending time reading Buddhist and Confucian scriptures when an acquaintance encouraged him to learn calligraphy. He practiced for 6 months and happened to see a chicken exhibition. That was the year of chicken in 2005. He then drew his own chicken and those who saw the work asked him to draw more for them. It was the moment he realized he had a talent in art. He was then 60.

He packed a bag and flew to China where people value highly of oriental painting. He knocked doors of local art schools for some time and finally got admittance to an art school in Hangzhuou. He ate, slept and practiced at the school. One day, he was in doubt of his age to do something he has never done before. A teacher noticed this, came to him, and said “Qing dynasty’s famous artist Jin Nong started painting in his 50s and drew bamboos in his 60s and American folk painting artist Grandma Mosses raised 10 siblings and started drawing at 78 and left around 1,600 works until she died at 101.”

Encouraged by this, he practiced harder. Next year, his tiger won the first prize at the Imbaeknyeon exhibition and the gold prize at the Junghwabae exhibition. Back in Korea, he flew to Japan to learn Japanese brushwork at Kyoto University of the Arts for 6 months. He displayed his works at a number of exhibitions and succeeded attracting attentions. One of his works was printed in an art book for practice in 2011. He carried on for more exhibitions and held his first solo exhibition in Insa-dong, Seoul, in 2009 from which he has participated in group exhibitions in Japan and the US for 15 times. 

Art critics who have appreciated his works said “New expressions that can alter the southern style” and “Rich and splendid in color and harmony between oriental and western”. Ahn is an artist of swift hand that he can make 6 works while others can do only 1 and it has become his distinguished style. 

As a man of talent, he starred in the movie Park Yeol directed by Lee Joon-ik and appeared in a public advertising. He also donated the money from selling his works to Yangsan Business Center. 

▲ 개나리53x47cm

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