Spectrum : Namjune Paik’s 80th exhibition

23 Jul

Spectrum is Namjune Paik’s 80th anniversary exhibition at SOMA Art Museum in Seoul. It opens during July 6th to October 16th. However, I was a little disappointed, because there is no any criterion or intention for displaying his art pieces in the museum and I also feel lack of docent’s explanations. But, Paik is amazing artist as the pioneer of video art. Among his works, there is an art piece of which entitle is ”Before the Word There was light, After the Word There will be Light. (ed.12/18, 1992)” It is a video sculpture which consists of Dumont television casting with candle. The candle is burning and if the light off, then the light can be lit through the hole. I think the title is philosophical. ‘Before the Word There was light’: Before using the word, men have used the fire, so fire is primitive and in the beginning, there was a light. ‘After the Word There will be Light’: As the light of the candle is placed in the monitor of the television, the light  represents the light of monitor, ray. At the time (1992) when this piece was made, television was very innovative amazing. In the same time, I could also find the one of the most primitive thing as light in the modern thing. As Paik installed this work, he threw the question to audiences about what is the meaning that television gives for us.

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