This year is the 80th anniversary of the birth of world famous video artist Nam-june Paik (1932-2006). To celebrate this occasion, MBC Plus broadcast a documentary about Paik on its program “History Who”. Art galleries are also holding special exhibitions of his work. The greatest is undoubtedly at the Nam-june Paik Art Center near Kangnam University. They have been busy with events and an exhibit entitled “Nostalgia is an Extended Feedback”.
The purpose of this exhibit is not just to celebrate Paik’s 80th birthday anniversary, but to remind us of his unique vision of the harmony and communication between man, machine and nature. When we keep this theme in mind, we can understand Paik’s artwork more easily. Within this theme, one of Paik’s most memorable works is “TV Fish”. In this work, we can see fish in a tank, a man in a TV monitor, and a TV all at once. It seems as if the fish and people are dancing on TV together!
“Nostalgia” doesn’t celebrate only Paik’s vision. Visitors can also enjoy the work of contemporary artists like Antoni Muntadas or Bill Viola. The exhibition is a great opportunity to compare the art of the past and the present at the same time. Many may be impressed to see that although Paik’s art is from the past, his experimental mind and sensible wit make a very modern statement.
For those seeing Paik’s work for the first time, they may find video art a bit difficult to understand. In such artwork, however, there are many points of participation and sympathy. By viewing the art work, one participates in it and, therefore, completes it. Video art then becomes a kind of communication between the artist and the viewer.
“Nostalgia is an Extended Feedback” at the Nam-june Paik Art Center continues until 20 January 2012.