Unexpected Light: Works by Young Il Ahn showcases many works from the Korean-American artist's 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. 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. 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 publication was issued on the occasion of the exhibition Unexpected Light: Works by Young Il Ahn at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art from February 25, 2017 through July 22, 2018. It 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. Edited by Virginia Moon and Susan Baik, essay by Young Il Ahn.
- 220 pages, 11.25 x 11.25 x 1.25 inches
- Over 180 illustrations in color, 1 b&w photograph