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  • Provenance

    Galerie Bhak, Seoul

  • Exhibited

    Vinci (Florence), Museo Leonardiano, Nam June Paik a Vinci : arte all’arte,
    Rinascimento-nascimento: arte, tecnica, tecnologia, scienza, March 16-June 16, 2002; Turin, Palazzo Cavour, Il giocoliere elettronico : Nam June Paik e l’invenzione della videoarte, September 14-November 17, 2002; Bologna, Carisbo San Paolo, Palazzo di Residenza, Tra Arte e Scienza, October, 2006

  • Catalogue Essay

    Paik's performing bodies, with their jerry-rigged technologies, insides and outsides, and delirious and desirous complexities seem increasingly relevant as the future catches up to us. (J. Kessler, “The Body Electric: John Kessler on Nam June Paik,” ArtForum, April 2006).

    He earned a reputation as the father of video art through four decades of pioneering work: from participating in the influential neo-Dada Fluxus community in 1960s New York to owning the first Sony PortaPak, helping develop the first video synthesizer and coining the term “electronic superhighway” long before the internet and wireless communication were realities. For Korean-born artist Nam June Paik, technology, the future, and the way the two can be combined and put to artistic uses have been lifelong personal and professional obsessions, the source of inspiration for one of the most groundbreaking and influential bodies of work by anyone, in any media, over the past half century. These concepts inform the design of his robot Sol Wo Kim (1998)—whose meter-high body is made from five antique radio boxes, three mini-televisions, one Sony television, one crushed television, and one laser disk player with disk—but not exclusively: as forward-thinking and technologically-inclined as Paik is, Sol Wo Kim was inspired in equal measure the history of Korea and the late Korean poet of the same name. Born in 1902 and dead by 1934, Sol Wo Kim has become one of the tragic heroes of Korean poetry celebrated for his lyrical poem Jindalae-Kot (“Azalea Flower”) which Paik has inscribed on the surface of his robot, a multimedia sculpture that serves as a fascinating meditation both on the history of his homeland and the future of our globally-connected electronic society.

  • Artist Biography

    Nam June Paik

    American • 1932 - 2006

    Nam June Paik was born in Seoul in 1932, but was forced to flee with his family due to the Korean War. Settling in Japan in 1950, Paik studied classical piano at the University of Tokyo before moving again to West Germany to continue his studies in music. There, he began integrating his art and music practices. 

    Paik is widely considered the father of video art. In the 1960s and 1970s, he was an integral member of the Fluxus movement, which is known for producing experimental works that sought to create new art forms. In Paik’s 1969 manifesto, he declared, “I want to shape the TV screen canvas as precisely as Leonardo, as freely as Picasso, as colorfully as Renoir, as profoundly as Mondrian, as violently as Pollock, and as lyrically as Jasper Johns.” 

    Often incorporating television sets into his work, one of his most famous works, TV Cello, transformed the machines into a working instrument, and in other instances, such as Good Morning Mr. Orwell, he would use the television as a conduit for live performance pieces. Paik’s musings proved to be rather prophetic. He coined the term “electronic super highway,” envisioning a world where media would be able to connect people from all over the world. Paik passed away in 2006. In the years since, numerous museums and institutions have launched career retrospectives, including the Whitney, the Guggenheim and the Smithsonian.

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So Wol Kim

Five antique radio boxes, five televisions, one DVD player with accompanying DVD, red neon tubes, electrical components and two yellow lights.
Sculpture: 47 x 43 3/4 x 17 1/2 in. (119.4 x 111.1 x 44.5 cm); With base: 67 x 43 1/2 x 23 3/4 in. (170.2 x 110.5 x 60.3 cm).
Signed and dated "Paik '98" upper left face.

£50,000 - 70,000 

Sold for £144,000

The Marino Golinelli Collection

13 October 2007, 1pm