Tuesday, 8 February 2011


The Tate Liverpool is currently holding the largest retrospective of Nam June Paik's work since he passed away six years ago. The exhibition holds a vast and diverse selection of Paik's work ranging from his most famous pieces such as 'Family Robot' 1986, "TV Cello" 1971 and "Buddha TV" 1974. I have known of Paik's work for several years now and have always wanted to see his most famous pieces in person. However I was surprised at how much more interested I was in his lesser known but more interesting pieces that were on display. Pieces such as 'TV Garden' 1974, 'Zen for Film' 1962-1964, 'Magnet TV' 1965, 'Egg Grows'1984-1989 and 'The First 'Snap Shots' of Mars' 1966.

Whilst it was exciting to see the big works I found that seeing them on the Internet gave me all I could take from them which is an interesting atheistic as I feel his more interesting conceptual stuff needed the live experience to lift it from the computer monitor. 'Zen for Film' 62-64, was something that struck this balance for me as it held my attention longer as it was something new to me and I found that it made me work for the pay off which I found interesting. The mixture of experimental film and the Buddhist nature of Zen and is captured in this contemplative video piece. It also paid homage to John Cage's 4'33, in this silent film and minuet, blank film.

'One Candle' 1989 had the same effect, whilst it's very simple in it's execution, it's nature and it's idea's are demonstrated perfectly in it's live performance. It plays with the idea of image and reality, it doesn't shy away from how it's produced as the equipment lay reveled on the floor. It's simple use of the primary colours was something that interested me as I have a fondness for simple and pure colour, this married with it's every changing nature was something that grabbed me.

Since seeing my first Paik back in 2007 I have waited with a keen eye to see more of his work in person. At that time when I first saw his 'Budda TV' piece that was enough Paik for me and was all I was interested in. Since then though my interest has grown along with my knowledge and understanding of art so when the Tate put on a vast and in depth retrospective I felt more open to see and understand his work.

No comments:

Post a Comment