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Arts & Media

“Wrap Around the World” Series Released to Mark 90th Anniversary of Paik Nam June’s Birth

  • 조회수 262
  • 행사기간 Sep 09, 2022 - Sep 09, 2022
  • 등록일 Oct 04, 2022

To commemorate the 90th anniversary of the birth of Korean artist Paik Nam June, on September 9, the Korea Foundation released on its YouTube channel 7707 a five-episode series titled Wrap Around the World.


Inspired by Paik’s 1988 television special of the same name, the purpose of the YouTube series, just as in the original broadcast, is to promote messages of peace and goodwill to humanity.


The series is composed of five videos: “Wrap Around the World,” “Seoul Sonata,” “Zen for the Loner,” “VR Garden,” and “Letters from the East.” The video series, which was produced in participation with LEENALCHI, DJ Lee Jinwook, sound artist Jeong Jinhwa, Park Sohee of ELLETRAVAILLE, and Park Minhee of HAEPAARY, will be used to promote Korean arts and culture through Korea’s diplomatic missions abroad and through cultural organizations around the world.


 


Episode 1, “Wrap Around the World,” opens the series with the same title as Paik Nam June’s original television special that was broadcast live in 1988. The characters he introduced in the special travel through time to present day Seoul to communicate with the music group LEENALCHI. Following Paik’s stylized video clips of the Second World War from his Guadalcanal Requiem (1977), LEENALCHI unites the East and the West with the performance of their song “Yeobonari,” a fusion of Korean classical and modern pop music.


 


Episode 2, “Seoul Sonata,” is inspired by Paik Nam June’s work which featured a contemporary DJ-like performance with several turntables in the 1970s. It is a musical playlist, enabling viewers to enjoy Paik’s work while listening to the melodies of DJ Jinwook.


 


Episode 3, “Zen for the Loner,” includes scenes from an artistic performance entitled Zen for Walking: Action with Violin on a String from German television WDR’s documentary Nam June Paik – Das gute Gewissen der Avantgarde in which Paik ties a string to a violin and pulls it around. This episode intends to recreate Paik’s pioneering method of artistic expression through a shoe suspended from a drone, imagined as his reincarnation, passing alone through a vast expanse of nature. The audio in the video is the work of sound artist Jeong Jinhwa.


 


Episode 4, “VR Garden,” is inspired by Paik Nam June’s TV Garden (1974/2002) in which many television sets of various sizes and forms are arranged in a garden accompanied by many types of plants. In “VR Garden,” nature and technology coalesce into a single organism inhabiting the space. Botanical designer Park Sohee of ELLETRAVAILLE participated in the production of this video.


 


Finally, episode 5, “Letters from the East,” recreates Paik Nam June’s letters in the form of gagok (a type of traditional Korean music sung by men or women accompanied by a small orchestra and recognized by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage) performed by Park Minhee of HAEPAARY, a certified trainee of the genre. This episode presents Paik’s prophetic calligraphy and playful but distinct drawings of the future he envisioned against the backdrop of mystical natural landscapes. The series came to an end by transcending the limitations of time and space to deliver a letter of peace and harmony.


These videos are available at the Korea Foundation’s newly opened public diplomacy YouTube channel 7707 (https://bit.ly/Channel7707)


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