Nam June Paik, Transmission Tower, 2002
Aug 31 – Dec 3, 2023
Nam June Paik Art Center
Yongin, South Korea

Here is a radio tower standing tall, which looks like a monument soaring up with some revolutionary force. This is Paik’s Transmission Tower. Shown only at the Rockefeller Center, New York in 2002 and at the Sydney Opera House in 2004, it found its permanent home at Nam June Paik Art Center. It is now to unveil its majesty for the first time in Korea after a 20-year hiatus. The classic cars lined along are 32 Cars for the 20th Century: Play Mozart’s Requiem Quietly (1997, Leeum Museum of Art Collection). The tower’s vividly colored neon and laser light, and Mozart’s magnificent tune playing over the cars will magically transform the Nam June Paik Art Center-scape.

For the past couple of years Nam June Paik Art Center has devoted itself to research on Paik’s laser work. It is a technology that the artist explored from the 1960s and viewed as his post-video medium, as a medium of the 21st century. In a significant number of recordings that have been newly discovered, you will find out more on the production and exhibition of Transmission back then, from Paik’s artistic ideas, technical programming with artistic laser expert Norman Ballard, to its on-site installation and opening performance. The 2023 exhibition Transmission is a time machine, faithfully receiving Paik’s signals, amplifying them through the work of contemporary artists today, and sending them out toward the future.