“If someone is in love, longing makes lovers die every day and every hour. I would rather create a useful lie until I die – not a longing, lover’s lie – so that I am able to live out every day and every hour of my life.” -Hyong Nam Ahn
Hyong Nam Ahn has always been interested in the kinetic, ever-changing character of the environment and is constantly in search of visual idioms that are capable of expressing this dynamic. He uses mixed medium or controlling devices as means of vividly expressing his inner thoughts. He expresses his sympathy for human relationships in the technology-oriented world - a world that without conscience has used force to conquer the natural environment. Human relationships have changed by this phenomenon, yet the underlying laws of the universe remain constant – the velocity of light has not changed since Creation.
Most of his recent works are based on subliminal objects inspired by natural occurrences such as moonlight and migrating birds. Ahn often uses sound and light to solve formal aesthetic problems, exploring the way in which sound and light function as both the subject matter and the material basis of contemporary art.
Hyong Nam Ahn uses a variety of materials such as cut out aluminum forms, stainless steel rods, wood, stone, and oil paint as well as environmental factors such as wind as metaphors that allude to the natural environment. Ahn’s sensitivity to equilibrium, light, and movement is accentuated by his use of these disparate materials in a fluid dialogue with each other.
In fact, the use of technology and industrial materials such as neon lights in combination with natural materials and motifs are more of a reference to the dichotomy of our environment that encompasses both the manmade and the natural rather than a critique on industrialization or consumerism. The various elements seem fractured yet balanced, engaging the viewer into a sophisticated dialogue about philosophy, nature, progress, technology, and spirituality.
Ahn’s poetic and lyrical sculptures and drawings embody both the artist’s spontaneous gestures as well as the refined technical sophistication of his craftsmanship to capture the vitality of both the physical and the spiritual world. While Ahn’s geometric shapes allude to natural motifs, his expressive linear elements and use of neon lights can be linked to the long history of Asian meditative calligraphic brush strokes. Ahn’s elegantly choreographed lyricism and the raw power of the medium embody the complex balance of nature, harmony, and peace.
Hyong Nam Ahn was invited to over twenty solo exhibitions, including "Eternal Love" at Love Community Church in NY; "Finding Dignity" at Have Gallery in Ghungdo, Korea; "For the peace and harmony of the world" at Art Mora NY; "Seeing (through) Music" at Korean Cultural Service in NY, among many. Ahn's works were highlighted with light and sound incorporations, including "The Place Called One Two Three" at Morning Dance & Performance Theater in Chicago, IL; "Light Installation in Space" at Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago IL; and "Sound and Light Sculpture Duluth" at Tweed Museum in MN.