Nam June Paik works join Tate’s permanent collection

By Lee Woo-young
  • Published : Mar 9, 2014 - 19:49
  • Updated : Mar 9, 2014 - 19:49
Key works of Korean-born media art pioneer Nam June Paik have been included in the permanent art collection of Britain’s Tate galleries with the sponsorship of Hyundai Motor Co.

The prestigious Tate Modern museum of art will hold an exhibition of Paik’s works in the latter half of the year.

As part of the 11-year partnership deal with Hyundai Motor, Tate purchased nine important works by the renowned media artist, including his video and painting works and installations. The artworks spanning Paik’s 40-year career will be on view at Tate Modern within the year. 
“Bakelite Robot” by Nam June Paik (Tate)
“Office” by Nam June Paik (Tate)

“It is an example of Tate and Hyundai wanting to bring something into the collection in London, which has not been present before. … With the help of Hyundai, some very important works will be part of the collection,” said Sir Nicholas Serota, director of Tate, at the press conference announcing the partnership between Hyundai Motor and Tate in Seoul on Friday.

The nine works offer an overview of Paik’s artistic world and vision, according to Serota, who also noted a growing interest in Asian artists at Tate.

“Tate has been taking an increasing interest in art in the Asia-Pacific region. ... We are undertaking research in depth in Korean art and art from the Asia-Pacific region. Over the next five years to a decade, you will see more Korean artists and more artists from the Asia-Pacific region represented in the Tate collection,” Serota said. 
Turbine Hall at Tate Modern. (Tate)

The partnership between Hyundai Motor Company and Tate, announced on Jan. 20 in London, is the longest initial commitment from a corporate sponsor that Tate has ever received. Hyundai Motor Company will be funding art projects to go on display at the Tate Modern’s iconic Turbine Hall from 2015 to 2025 under the name of “The Hyundai Commission.” Tate previously received sponsorships from the oil giant BP and consumer goods company Unilever for Turbine Hall commissions.

The sponsorship will help Tate introduce creative works of contemporary artists in the Turbine Hall. Previous projects include British sculptor Anish Kapoor’s massive trumpet-like sculpture; Louise Bourgeois’ spider; Olafur Eliasson’s fake sunset and Ai Weiwei’s “Sunflower Seeds” in which 100 million porcelain seeds were scattered in the giant hall.

Hyundai Motor said it aims to improve its corporate image in the long term through the partnership with one of the most prestigious institutions for contemporary art.

“Hyundai Motor Company would like to invite more people through the partnership with Tate and create an emotional connection or bond with more customers around the world,” said Cho Won-hong, chief marketing officer of Hyundai Motors.

“We are starting the partnership with the Nam June Paik exhibition and the Turbine Hall commission, but we expect we can spread the vision not just in the U.K. and in Korea, but throughout the world.”

Hyundai Motor also pledged to put up a 12 billion won ($11.3 million) sponsorship for the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea last November. The first long-term corporate sponsorship in Korea will support exhibitions for Korean artists.

By Lee Woo-young (wylee@heraldcorp.com)