Unexpected Light: Works by Young Il Ahn
Korean-American artist Young Il Ahn was born in 1934 in Gaeseong, historically known as the capital of the Goryeo dynasty (912–1392) and geographically located in North Korea today. While acknowledged as a child prodigy, Ahn carried out his most prolific work in Los Angeles since his arrival in the U.S. in 1966. Since then, Ahn’s works have consistently focused on his interest in the local surroundings rather than the country he left. This exhibition showcases many works from his best-known series, Water, which was inspired by a near-death incident on the Pacific Ocean in 1983, as well as his most recent works. The Water series marks a notable shift in Ahn’s style from semi abstraction to complete abstraction, which has continued to define his style to this day.
This exhibition marks the first-ever introduction of a Korean-American artist at LACMA, highlighting the ever expanding diversity and realities within the ethnic Korean population in Los Angeles.
This installation was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Image: Young-Il Ahn, Water BLRG 16 (detail), 2016, Oil on canvas, 64 × 52 in. (162.56 × 132.08 cm, Courtesy of the Artist and Susan Baik/ Baik Art, © Young-Il Ahn, photo by Michael Underwood