Young-Il Ahn, Water

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Water LLSM, 2016

Over spring break, I had the chance to go to LACMA. The Urban Light sculpture, which is the hot Instagram place for tourists, was definitely worth looking at, but I came back that day excited to have encountered the works of a Korean artist, Young-il Ahn. From a distance, his works (the Water Series) seemed like a collage, or a paper mache. However, I soon realized that each stroke of oil paint was carefully applied to the enormous canvas. The details are just amazing.

“The Water series (1983– ongoing) takes inspiration from his experience of being lost on the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Santa Monica. In 1983, Ahn was aboard a small fishing boat when he was caught in a fog so dense that he could not see his hands in front of his face; suddenly, the fog cleared, revealing sunlight on the water all around him. This vision and experience would shape his practice for decades to come.” (

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