The duo exhibition 'Seoul Sessions', features the work of Jisan Ahn (1979, KR) and Raymond Lemstra (1978, NL). Both artists have studied in Groningen and currently live in Seoul. Both artists have felt what it is like to be the newcomer, the outsider.
Ahn realized, after he settled in The Netherlands, that his previous focus on Korean political subjects was not supported worldwide. He then looked for new, more general topics. Korean commercials from the seventies are an important source for inspiration for his latest series. These commercials were not slick marketing campaigns but had a naïve quality. They were direct and without a hidden agenda. Ahn wants to place this obsolete visual language in the present time. As a result, the reference to the original context disappears, the image itself becomes central, leaving room for a more universal meaning.
Lemstra is also confronted with being 'different'. After he settled in the Korean capital in 2016, he tended to retire to his studio, due to the language barrier and large differences in contact norms. In order to get a grip on the alienating and overwhelming city, he started collecting the many posters and stickers that he found on walls and lampposts on the streets. This skin of the city forms the surface of his fictional portraits. These portraits are less smooth and flawlessly painted than the figures from before his stay in South Korea. They are characterized by