Monday, February 18, 2008

[ News, Culture / Events, February 4 2008] Paik Nam-june bridges worlds with legacy of art, originality

As about 100 people watched in silence, a Korean shaman started speaking in what many considered to be the voice of Paik Nam-june, the Korean-born American pioneer of video arts who died two years ago.


The scene last week at Hankuk Art Museum in Yongin, just outside Seoul, marked the second anniversary of the death of the world-renowned artist who, with his insight, transformed the realm of art into modern media.

Paik, who died on Jan. 29, 2006 of natural causes at age 74, stunned the world in 1963 when he exhibited a dozen television sets randomly scattered about as their screen images were deliberately distorted with magnets.

"The exhibition in Germany literally shocked everyone because no one ever imagined a video could be used as a means of art," said Oh Kwang-soo, former head of the National Museum of Contemporary Art.

"Paik broadened the horizon of art itself," he said, noting that the late artist was even referred to as "the George Washington of video art."

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