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Nam June Paik exhibition to light up the Smithsonian

By Korea Herald

Published : Dec. 13, 2012 - 19:42

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A tribute exhibition to the late Nam June Paik (1932-2006) will be held at the Smithsonian American Art Museum from Dec. 13 through Aug. 11, 2013, the Korea Foundation, sponsor of the event, said Wednesday.

The first show since the museum acquired the Nam June Paik archive in 2009 will focus on introducing the accomplishments of the artist who is dubbed the father of video art for transforming video into an art medium through sculptures, installations, video tapes and TV projects.

A total of 67 artworks and more than 140 items will be on display. Some are on loan from private and public collections around the world including “Random Access (Schallplattenschaschlik),” from the Vehbi Ko Foundation; “TV Garden” from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and “Whitney Buddha Complex” from the Hessel Museum of Art at Bard College. The museum’s own collections “Zen for TV,” “Megatron/Matrix” and “Electronic Superhighway: Continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii” will be also shown. 
John G. Hanhardt, senior curator for media arts at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, on Wednesday talks to the press ahead of the Nam June Paik exhibition commemorating the late artist’s 80th birthday. (Yonhap News) John G. Hanhardt, senior curator for media arts at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, on Wednesday talks to the press ahead of the Nam June Paik exhibition commemorating the late artist’s 80th birthday. (Yonhap News)

Also presented will be Paik’s writings and the materials he collected, which are expected to show the development of the artist’s innovative and radical conceptualization of the future roles of communication technologies in the expanding global media culture.

John G. Hanhardt, senior curator for media arts and a leading expert on Paik, is organizing the exhibition.

“The exhibition will give viewers the opportunity to experience a full portrait of the artist and also recognizes Paik’s desire to astonish through a playful aesthetic,” said Hanhardt.

“It will have surprises both for viewers who have never experienced Paik and for those who feel they know his art,” he added.

By Bae Ji-sook (baejisook@heraldcorp.com)