Nam June Paik Art Center
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Kirsten Schemel, Maina Stankovic / Germany

Video art as part of architecture

This space was built to study and exhibit the artistic ideas and the creative artwork of Nam June Paik (1932–2006), world-famous artist and “father of video art.” Paik created experimental artworks by manipulating the circuit of Brauntube televisions to change what is displayed on the screen or by encouraging the audience to take part in completing his work. He continued to pursue experimental art, removing barriers between art and technology, humans and machinery, as well as East and West.

Elizabeth Broun, the director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, said “If Picasso stands astride the first half of the 20th century like a colossus, Nam June Paik is the center of gravity for all that was new in the second half of that 100-year span. We are only now learning how profoundly his imagination embraced and transformed our world.” In 2003, an international design contest was held to design an art center reflecting Paik’s thoughts and views on art. A total of 439 teams from 42 countries joined the contest for the world-famous artist, and “The Matrix” designed by Kirsten Schemel won. Schemel said she was deeply impressed by Paik’s artwork, which arouses viewers’ indefinite imagination, and designed a concept whereby unlike existing galleries and museums, viewers take the leading role and freely select spaces.

The exterior of the museum is surrounded by vertically fragmented glass curtain walls. The interior side of the double reflected glass windows is silk-screened so that visitors can see the outdoors more vividly while inside. In particular, the black horizontal lines on the glass curtain walls remind viewers of the coarse vertical test pattern lines of black and white televisions. The image of the natural landscape reflected on the glass curtain walls, combined with the horizontal lines, looks like a gigantic video artwork by Paik.

TIP : Zien Art Space, located across from Nam June Paik Art Center, is a cultural complex consisting of exhibition, education and creative spaces, as well as the Zien Shop, a caf. and a restaurant.
Location : 10 Paiknamjune-ro, Giheung-gu, Yongin-si,Gyeonggi-do
Telephone : 031-201-8571
How to go : 15-min walk from Exit 6 of Giheung Station, Ever or Bundang Line
Operating hours : 10:00–18:00 (July & Aug until 19:00; Closed Mondays)
Admission Fees : Free


Zien Art Space
Gyeonggi Province Museum
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