Representing the contemporary trend for op art and light art, the Korean artist Chul-Hyun Ahn perfectly translates his research into geometric abstract painting from the 1960s into an art of light, space and technology. Combining the use of colored neon lights, mirrors and other industrial materials, his light sculptures create spectacular illusions based depth of field as a physical representation of the infinite and the void.
Chul-Hyun Ahn began his exploration of the geometry of space while he was still a student of painting at the School of Fine Arts in Seoul. In 1997 he moved to the United States, where he discovered the American tradition of minimal art up close. His interest for three-dimensionality and abstraction led him to incorporate into his works systems used by artists like Dan Flavin and Donald Judd, such as basic forms, grids and other superimpositions of materials, especially two-way mirrors. Thus, the sculptures of Chul-Hyun Ahn infinitely reflect highly streamlined forms, as in the series Visual Echo; explore architectural spaces, as in the series Tunnel and Well; and integrate abstract drawings, such as in the series Mirror Drawing.
The “magical properties” of light and reflective surfaces allow Chul-Hyun Ahn to represent infinite depths and vertiginous voids in his installations, evoking a contemplative dimension. Indeed, the foundations of the artist’s research reside in Buddhist doctrines, according to which emptiness precedes illumination. Thus, Chul-Hyun Ahn succeeds in creating meditative objects that soothe the spirit and invite the viewer on a spiritual voyage.
Chul-Hyun Ahn was born in 1971 in Busan, South Korea. Since 2002, he has been living and working in Baltimore, USA. His works have been shown in numerous exhibitions in Berlin, New York, Seoul, and more recently, at the Delaware Art Museum in an individual show.
In 2013 his work was exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome (MACRO), within the context of the group exhibition “Neon: The Bright Matter of Art”, at the Saatchi Gallery in London (exhibition: “Korean Eye: Energy and Matter”) and at the Palazzo Bembo during the 55th Venice Biennale (exhibition: “Personal Structures”).