Korean Artist Project

Interview with Chang Hong AHN

posted 26 May 2017


Having interested in working with themes of life and death or the loss of humanism and human nature, Ahn Chang Hong has been working in paintings and photographic collage works with the same theme that contains the wounds of our times intact for over 30 years. Though his work seems to be a direct expose of the preposterousness of contemporary society, it also contains positive messages of healing in such reality after all. 


The artist focuses on his own personal history as well as the authentic historical background of Korea. In particular, his photography series Spring is Going and Contemplation of 49 People catches one’s eyes with its unique style, that is to say the photos of human characters look as if they are captured in their time, is represented in the reconstruction of enlarged old photography. The characters in the photograph are either depicted through the artist’s expression of dilated pupils of their eyes or blade scar and bloodstains, thus giving an eerie or sad feeling. 


Since 2010 Ahn has asked people in his social milieu to model for a series of monotonous grey tone paintings that represent the human despair, caused by environmental, political and social factors. Through a lifelike skeletal structure, wrinkles, facial expression and body gesture expressed in mostly nudes, the artist tries to emphasize the sublime beauty of the body as a natural object rather than as a lightness of rapidly changing society.  Ahn is referred to as an artist who beautifully expresses the pain of the times; he sublimates the psychological state such as sadness, resentment and agony, into a thoughtful Korean sentiment of inner maturity, which is called, Han, in Korean.

Written by Jae Hyun KANG

Korean Artist Project


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