We imprint in our minds things that we have seen at first glance and vaguely recall those feelings even after a long time. That’s what we call the afterimage of memory. Artist Ahn Hyun-il, who recreated such a fleeting memory into a clear shape by capturing it on canvas, has sublimated ‘afterimages’ as art over the past 40 years, rather than ending with the disappearance of memories.
Prior to his first solo exhibition in 1986, he won several prestigious competitions and began to solidify his position as an artist. He has continued to work steadily to this day with a single theme, ‘Afterimage’, in order to clearly focus his artistic innermostness and intention. It is not easy to do several works with one theme for a long time. Although consistent with the theme, his works, which are dotted with various attempts, are pure abstract works on the whole, but they have the characteristics of further simplifying the spatial form and developing more concisely. The artist’s tenacity and appealing works are also a driving force in receiving constant interest and encouragement from the audience.
|▲ 殘像 Afterimage-2211 60.6×72.7㎝, Oil and Acrylic Mixed Media on canvas 2022.|
Change of emotion
In the mid-1980s, the early days of the afterimage series, in some works, a dark local image appeared as a flat, modern expression structure, as if the expression of the old days felt in the old stone wall of a rural village was taken as a motif. Then, around 1989, various objects in reality, such as a piece of discarded cloth or a piece of cardboard in the trash, were introduced as a protage technique into the autonomous shape of the screen, and they appeared as a message related to the artist’s life process.
In his solo exhibition in 1992, he also created a print expression effect using a mixture of print and protage techniques with structural abstraction to create a mysterious shape, while also showing a change in which vivid colors are given to the pure shapes of straight lines and curves. At this time, subtitles such as joy, feast, light, meeting, and smile are attached to the theme of the series, ‘Afterimage’, and it is characterized by a symbolic view of the overall shape of the work.
|▲ 殘像 Afterimage_fantasy 92-2 109×109㎝, Oil and Acrylic on canvas 1992.|
The artist left his hometown of Miryang early in his age to train his juniors in the school, and at the same time, he continued his active work through numerous domestic and foreign group and solo exhibitions, solidifying his position as an elder Western painter.
In the invitation exhibition organized by the Miryang Cultural Foundation, artist Ahn plans to present a series of ‘Afterimages’ from the past 40 years. Miryang has long been known as a beautiful city with excellent landscapes and beautiful scenery, and it is also a place where many writers and artists have been produced. Ahn melted down the Miryang River, Yeongnamru, Sammun-dong pine forest, Pyochungsa Temple, and Baeksong, where he spent his childhood, deepening afterimage even after he left his hometown for a long time.
In this special exhibition, the artist’s recent works and early works of the past will be exhibited together. This exhibition will be an opportunity to see the change in the artist’s own sensibility, as well as the growth process of local art and the beginning of Miryang art. In addition, the freshness and novelty of contemporary art will remain in the afterimage for many viewers for a long time.
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