The legacy of Nam June Paik and the ‘electronic superhighway’ is at the heart of a new exhibition being held in London from 4 – 6 November 2013 at the Old Billingsgate Building, City of London.
During the ‘Crystallize – New Media Art Lab Korea & UK’ exhibition, artists from Korea and the UK will explore how contemporary artwork is expressed through science, IT, social media and cinema. The three day exhibition explores how creative technology offers a common language for artists working in two different cultures. The work, featured in the historic vault at Billingsgate, illustrates how contemporary artists across the globe are harnessing technology and using it to empower and express a global culture.
Exhibition curator, Stephanie Seungmin Kim says, “Artists have great roles to play in any aspirational world by revealing the previously unseen – just like Paik’s stunningly visionarywork. Our venue – an artistic laboratory – is truly harboring creative ‘crystallization’”.
The exhibition is part of the wider Korea Brand and Entertainment Expo 2013, celebrating Korea’s ‘creative economy’. At the heart of the expo is the spirit of collaboration, of shared ideas, mutual respect and a desire to curate a modern culture.
Nam June Paik, the world-famous Korean video artist, pioneered the innovative use of technological tools that artists continue to practice today. Paik was the first to voice the phrase ‘electronic superhighway’ as early as 1974. He saw the boundless possibilities offered by broadcasting and the Internet age. The exhibition features ‘Documenta 6 Satellite Telecast’ his collaborative work with Joseph Beuys and Douglas Davis, which was the world’s first live satellite performance, broadcast to 25 different countries.
Nam June Paik once famously proclaimed “the future is now”. His genius has inspired the works of the contemporary artists being featured at KBEE 2013. The curator of the ‘Crystallize’ exhibition, Stephanie Seungmin Kim, of ISKAI Contemporary Art, has carefully selected the 16 Korean and UK artists who each embrace art, science and creativity. Gina Czarnecki, for example, collaborates with biologists in her beautifully provocative work, ‘Palaces’.
Several other artists reveal a fiercely cherished DIY aesthetic. Terry Ryu Kim’s screens, Sam Meech’s knitting machine experiments, David Ogle’s laser projection and Dave Lynch’s ‘Project Nimbus’, all emphasise how viewers participate in the world of the artist.
New media artist Jeremy Bailey is regarded as being most evocative of Paik’s spirit. Bailey performs with custom software to parody the way we talk about new media. His work, ‘The Future of Television’, uses facial recognition software to show television channels on his face as he peers into a camera lens. His work questions the place of television in artistic discourse.
Highlights of the exhibition include Semiconductor’s epic ‘Worlds in the Making’ – a three channel video combining documentary footage with CGI to explore the material nature of the world and how we experience it. Using volcanology as a starting point, the work reveals, like the primordial landscape of our volcanic planet, a world that is real but invisible to us. Meanwhile GLTI.CH’s karaoke performance showcases a modern world where social media weaves through our natural discourse.
For more information contact Stephanie Seungmin Kim at ISKAI Contemporary Art | firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors
About the curator
Stephanie Seungmin Kim is a curator based in London. Founding ISKAI Contemporary Art in 2011, she divides her time between Asia and Europe. From 2007 to 2011, Kim was the main curator and founder member of the Korean Cultural Centre UK. During her tenure she curated and managed over 30 exhibitions including the Liverpool Biennial 2010 City States Media Landscape and Earth Alert: A Photographic Response to Climate Change – a touring exhibition with thirteen international photographers – visiting London, Seoul and Copenhagen.
About ISKAI Contemporary Art
Based in London, but working across Asia and Europe, ISKAI Contemporary Art commissions and produces unique public art projects by outstanding contemporary artists. ISKAI collaborates with various institutions to bridge different cultures, arts and dialogues, specialising in transcultural activities in Asia and Europe. ISKAI combines artistic advice, curatorial service and project management to form a comprehensive consultation for public and private sector organisations. For more information, visit www.iskaiart.com
The Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT) is the UK’s leading media arts centre, based in Liverpool. Directed by Mike Stubbs, curatorial advisor to Crystallize, FACT is focused on bringing people, art and technology together. FACT’s award-winning building houses three galleries and four cinema screens. Since the organisation was founded in 1988 as Moviola, it has commissioned and presented over 250 new media and digital artworks from artists including Pipilotti Rist, Nam June Paik, Bill Viola, Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Isaac Julien. For more information, visit www.fact.co.uk
About the Korea Brand and Entertainment Expo 2013
The Korea Brand and Entertainment Expo is a forum for business, cultural and technological cooperation. The three-day annual international Hallyu festival aims to deepen economic and cultural exchanges between the UK and Korea. Starting in Bangkok, Thailand in 2010, the expo has been held in Paris, France, in 2011; in Osaka, Japan, in 2012 and takes place in London this year from 4 – 6 November in the Old Billingsgate Building.