Conversation with Minhyeok Ahn accompanying pretty sure it’s just the wind, a project and an exhibition by four artists who live and work in Frankfurt am Main – Minhyeok Ahn, So Yeon Kim, Kristina Lovaas and Rudi Ninov, that spans across two locations in Sofia, Goethe-Institut and Swimming Pool.
What works have you chosen to show in Sofia?
I made two works here in Sofia, ‘F-1’ and ‘Fat over wall.’
‘F-1’ is a thinned stone (granite) piece, and the other one is a wax-applied wall (wax on wall).
What was your specific response to each of the two spaces, Goethe-Institut and Swimming Pool?
Swimming Pool is familiar to me even though it is my first time here. I think the atmosphere of the space is quite similar to my place. I am not sure whether I’m making my mind simplify it. I thought I didn’t need to show works that had a strong presence or existence in this space when I looked at photos of it; however, when I got here, I strongly felt I just needed to do something that I had done in my place.
It is my first time showing stone work in a clean and organized space like Goethe-Institut. It was a challenge for me to put the work in this space and to figure out how the roughness of the wooden stand fit in the gallery. I had a lot of doubts during production: Is it okay for me to incubate my work in this space? Do I need to sand out and clean up the wooden stand more in order to achieve a good match between the white cube space and the work, or just leave it as it was?
You call yourself a painter who doesn’t paint. How do you define painting, and how do your works relate to painting, both in terms of process and final result?
I don’t know if I have a definition of painting. I would just love to introduce myself as a painter because the border of the medium is pretty specific. I guess even in the post-medium condition introducing myself as a painter is still quite symbolic.
For me painting could be a source medium that makes me feel materiality and happening. If I don’t understand materials, a painting is going to be cracked or moldy. If there’s a possibility for the cracking, moldy problem to be happening, I should open myself to the happenings. The happenings could be a little clue(mostly not) to go further into the next step. Seesawing could be a painting for me.
While sculpting, I think about how the material itself can stand as a work. I consider it to be the best way to appreciate the properties of a material and the best way to do painting practice. While I am installing the material-work, I use it as a figure, a gesture, and a line in a painting on the painting surface and in space.
One of my unsolved questions related to painting is: what is the role of the negative space between the wall and the canvas, and of the white four sides of the canvas; why does a painting need to be disconnected from the space? The sculpture installation starts from a question all about painting.
I might be on the way to becoming a painter.