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Nam June Paik Art Center offers augmented-reality experience

By Park Yuna

Published : Feb. 5, 2021 - 21:00

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Paik Nam-june’s “TV Garden,” shown with augmented reality (Nam June Paik Art Center) Paik Nam-june’s “TV Garden,” shown with augmented reality (Nam June Paik Art Center)

The Nam June Paik Art Center is using augmented-reality technology to introduce the masterpieces of Paik Nam-june, a South Korean-born artist who is known globally as the founder of video art.

“We tested AR service operation last year and have decided to implement the system,” an official from the art center said. The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the application of the technology, he said.

Starting Thursday, the world’s sole art center dedicated to Paik -- home to some 119 artworks by the artist and 2,285 videos stored in analog formats, such as VHS tapes -- is offering an AR-based guide service for 35 selected works including “TV Garden,” “TV Buddha,” “Paik-Abe Video Synthesizer” and “TV Fish.”

People who want to enjoy the interactive experience first have to download a mobile app called “Artivive.” They also need to download AR-compatible images from the museum’s official website, www.njpartcenter.kr, and then scan the images with their smartphone cameras. Once this is done, the AR guide will automatically present a moving image and provide an explanation. 

Paik Nam-june’s “Schubert,” shown with augmented reality (Nam June Paik Art Center) Paik Nam-june’s “Schubert,” shown with augmented reality (Nam June Paik Art Center)

Service in English is available for some of the content.

The art center will also hand out postcards printed with Paik’s AR-compatible works to the first 50 visitors it gets every day during February.

The AR guide service is also available for some of the center’s artworks from other internationally acclaimed artists, such as “Ideas You Believe Are Absurd Ultimately Lead to Success” by Dutch artist duo Bik Van der Pol and “Safety Cone” by installation artist Dennis Oppenheim.

The art center closes Mondays and on Lunar New Year’s Day. Online reservations are required before visiting the museum. Exhibitions “Nam June Paik TV Wave” and “Refocusing on the Medium: The Rise of East Asia Video Art” will continue until March 7 and 27, respectively.

Meanwhile, the museum will stage a virtual reality exhibition that revitalizes Paik’s first video art exhibition in Germany, “Exposition of Music - Electronic Television.” The VR exhibition schedule will depend on the pandemic situation.

By Park Yuna (yunapark@heraldcorp.com)