EX: 1/30/2012
  >> Search reviews
>> Confirm subscribe
2013.11.25 Mon, by Translated by: 梁舒涵
Glance: Paik in the ’90s

Nam June Paik: Works from the 1990s

Space Cottonseed (Gillman Barracks, 1 Lock Road, Singapore 108 972) Oct 23 – Dec 8, 2013

The text accompanying an exhibition by Nam June Paik offers a chance to “meet” small works produced by the Korean artist in the ’90s. To personify the encounter seems appropriate to this cacophony of objects fashioned into sculptures like “Tolstoy” (1995), whose camera-eyes are shielded by a battered felt hat; his clock-face is stuck at 5. Nearby, an eponymous “Wire-Haired Robot” stands alert, in readiness for one knows not what. TV sets (Paik’s favourite medium) have been hollowed out and filled with spirited collages of neon light, bulbs, splattered oil paint and a backdrop of little faces drawn with felt-tip pen. They glow in form and illumination from modest positions round the walls.

The sense of individual soul and an objective, collective technology that simultaneously inhabit works like these is perhaps what adds up to their particular, anachronistic charm. Space Cottonseed Director Janice Kim explains that Paik’s work has never been properly presented in South-East Asia. Contrary to her expectations, many amongst the audience in Singapore had never encountered Paik’s oeuvre, nor heard of him. Some guess that these pieces from the 1990s—small works of which the artist made only a few (these are all on loan from private collections)—are in fact by a young, contemporary artist. Paik may have been dead seven years, but even a small show such as this proves the enduring appeal of what he did.

Nam June Paik, “Neon TV-Heaven and Earth”, mixed media, 58 x 65 x 28 cm, 1995
白南准,《霓虹电视-天与地》,混合材质,58 x 65 x 28 cm, 1995

Nam June Paik, “TV Candle”, 1 TV box, 1 Candle, 60 x 51 x 44 cm, 1995
白南准,《电视蜡烛》,1台电视盒,一根蜡烛,60 x 51 x 44 cm, 1995