Storm is Coming – Part II . Jisan Ahn
Ticket price: free
Ticket price: free
Galerie Bart is pleased to present the latest work of Jisan Ahn (1979, KR) during Amsterdam Art Week 2023. The exhibition Storm is Coming: Part Two is the direct sequel to Jisan Ahn’s solo show at Arario Gallery in Seoul last year. But actually, this story begins a year earlier, with the last time Jisan Ahn was on show at Galerie Bart. Back then, we showed his paintings in Everyday: After the Storm, a prophetic exhibition about the world after the corona crisis. Here, he wondered what kind of world awaited us after the storm. Meanwhile, he has his answer: an uncertain and chaotic one, in which all sorts of new doom looms, such as climate problems, the limits of the capitalist system, war and rising inequality. The sky is darkening and the wind is blowing: a new storm is soon to arrive.
Amid this menacing tumult, lone hunters make their way through the thick undergrowth. They wear large scarves and layers of clothing to protect themselves from the wind. Sometimes they are accompanied by an animal. One of them also leaves a guitar behind in the wilderness. Despite their profession, hunters put off hunting because what if things get worse?
The two paintings Swimming into the dark cloud and Hiding into the dark cloud are covering a different story during the approaching storm. Here, the protagonist seems to have surrendered himself to the storm, one in a playful, the other in a resigned manner. To Jisan, the cloud represents desire: ‘Human desires are ecstatic, beautiful, and fickle like clouds in a storm’, he says. ‘Sometimes it even looks very scary. What is clear is that desire looks very similar to the clouds in the sky. It comes alive in a frightening way, and it also disappears in vain. Like a storm, without a trace and as if nothing had happened.’
As always, Jisan shows oil paintings with a poetic and mysterious character that surreptitiously emerges from the emotion he puts into the depicted figures and metaphorical objects. Alongside this subtlety and restraint, the raw power with which he sculpturally and texturally sets bare mountain rocks, dark clouds and storm winds on canvas is all the more telling. The influence the seventeenth-century landscape painters had on him, is all too visible in the skies. Jisan’s paintings grab the viewer and invite us to share in his existential angst.