Chul Hyun Ahn

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Chul Hyun Ahn
BornJanuary 15, 1971
NationalitySouth Korean
EducationMaryland Institute College of Art, Chu-Gye University for the Arts
Known forInstallation art, Sculpture, Light art
MovementLight art
Chul Hyun Ahn
Revised RomanizationAn Cheol-hyeon
McCune–ReischauerAn Ch'ŏlhyŏn
Chul Hyun Ahn, "Tunnel IV," 2011 (two views), cast concrete, lights, mirrors, ed. of 3, 20x40x40 inches

Chul Hyun Ahn is a South Korean artist who works primarily with light.


Chul Hyun Ahn, "Visual Echo Experiment," 2005, 9 pieces, 104 x 104 x 5.5 inches

Ahn is a member of a group of young light artists including Olafur Eliasson, Ivan Navarro, Spencer Finch, and Leo Villareal. Ahn creates meditations on zen notions of the infinite and the void which distinguishes Ahn's oeuvre from other artists working with light. Ahn's multiple on-going sculpture series including "Forked Series" and "Tunnel Series" systematically explore the limitations of space and optics.

Hilarie M. Sheets, contributing editor of ARTnews who also writes regularly for The New York Times, Art in America, and Art + Auction, said his work is "At once thrilling and ominous, it suggests a rabbit hole to another world—underwater, outer space, afterlife—or journey to the unknown, the kind of leap of faith involved in the artist’s own passage to an unfamiliar country and language."[1] As a pillar in the resurgence of light art, "Ahn creates sculptures utilizing light, color and illusion as physical representations of his investigation of infinite space." [2]

Ahn lives and works in Baltimore, Maryland, where he is represented by C. Grimaldis Gallery.


Chul Hyun Ahn was born in Busan, South Korea. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Chugye University for the Arts in Seoul. In 1997 he moved to the United States and received a Master of Fine Arts from the Mount Royal School at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore in 2002.[3]

Mr. Grimaldis first saw Ahn's work at his 2002 MFA thesis exhibition at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Soon after, he had his first exhibition with C. Grimaldis Gallery in the winter of 2003 in a solo exhibition titled Infinity - Emptiness which featured six light sculptures.[4][5] Since 2003 Chul Hyun Ahn has exhibited extensively nationally and internationally, and his work can be found in numerous important private and public collections.

In a review of Ahn's 2008 C. Grimaldis Gallery solo exhibition, Phenomena: Visual Echo art critic Cara Ober wrote: "What does infinity look like? Chul Hyun Ahn's show of thirteen mirrored light boxes (all 2008) answered this question over and over, in subtly different ways. The constructions of plywood and fluorescent light with exposed electrical cords unavoidably recall Donald Judd and Dan Flavin, but Ahn uses these industrial materials to a different end. Rather than clarifying visual phenomena without artifice, Ahn seeks to mystify." [6][7]

Selected exhibitions[edit]


  • C. Grimaldis Gallery, Baltimore, Maryland, Illuminated Void (solo)
  • Galerie Paris-Beijing, Paris, France, Visual Echo (solo)
  • Kunstraum: Morgenstrabe, Karlsruhe, Germany, Touching The Void
  • Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, Delaware, Perception/Deception: Illusion In Contemporary Art [8]


  • Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Look Again, Curator: Steven Matijcio


  • C. Grimaldis Gallery, Baltimore, Maryland, A Sculpture Show


  • Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, Momentum: Contemporary Art From The Harn Collection
  • C. Grimaldis Gallery, Baltimore, Maryland, Phenomena: Visual Echo (solo)


  • C. Grimaldis Gallery, Baltimore, Maryland, New Work (solo)
  • Decker Gallery, Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, Maryland, Jane & Walter Sondheim Semi-Finalist Exhibition


  • CPS Gallery, New York, New York
  • School 33, Baltimore, Maryland, Biennial Exhibition


  • C. Grimaldis Gallery, Baltimore, Maryland, Visual Echoes (solo)
  • Conner Contemporary, Washington, D.C., New Work (solo)
  • The Shore Institute of the Contemporary Arts, Long Branch, New Jersey, Luminous Recurrence


  • C. Grimaldis Gallery, Baltimore, Maryland, Infinite Directions (solo)


  • C. Grimaldis Gallery, Baltimore, Maryland, Infinity - Emptiness (solo)


  • Conner Contemporary, Washington, D.C., Academy 2002
  • CAA Conference, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Six Degrees In Cold Storage


  • Gallery Four, Baltimore, Maryland, Multiplicity


  • Creole Gallery, Lansing, Michigan


  • Kyung-In Art Museum, Seoul, South Korea, New Frontier Exhibition
  • City Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea, The Joong-Ang Biennale
  • National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, South Korea, The 15th Grand Art Exhibition of Korea[9]

Selected collections[edit]

  • American Society of Nephrology, Washington, DC
  • Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Borusan Contemporary, Istanbul, Turkey
  • Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, Delaware
  • Hearst Foundation Collection, New York, New York
  • Marguiles Collection at the Warehouse, Miami, Florida
  • Marvin and Elayne Mordes Collection, West Palm Beach, Florida
  • McDonald's Corporation, Washington, DC
  • Jordon D. Schnitzer Family Foundation, Portland, Oregon
  • Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, California
  • Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
  • Washington D.C. Convention Center, Washington, DC[9]


  1. ^ Sheets, Hilarie M. Illuminated Void. Comp. C. Grimaldis Gallery. Baltimore: C. Grimaldis Gallery, 2011. Print.
  2. ^ "Chul Hyun Ahn." C. Grimaldis Gallery. Web. 12 Jan. 2012. <>.
  3. ^ C. Grimaldis Gallery. art net. Artnet Worldwide Corporation. Website. 8 December 2011.
  4. ^ C. Grimaldis Gallery, "Infinity - Emptiness." Price List. January 9 - February 8, 2003. Print.
  5. ^ Mcnatt, Glenn. "Illuminating Colorful Reflections." The Baltimore Sun [Baltimore] 17 January 2007, 4C
  6. ^ Ober, Cara. "Chul Hyun Ahn." Rev. of Phenomena: Visual Echo solo exhibition. ARTnews December 2008: 131. Magazine.
  7. ^ Ober, Cara. Cara Ober. Portfolio website. 8 December 2011. Archived 26 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Delaware Art Museum. Delaware Art Museum. 8 December 2011. Archived November 27, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ a b C. Grimaldis Gallery. "Chul Hyun Ahn Resume." C. Grimaldis Gallery, 2011. Web. 1 Feb. 2012. <>.

Suggested reading[edit]

External links[edit]