How to (Re)Collect Oral Histories: Nam June Paik Art Center Interview Project
In conjunction with the exhibition Something like an Appleseed
Apr 27, 2023
For Nam June Paik, one of the crucial things in his work was the collaboration with various people, including fellow artists, technicians, curators, filmmakers, and TV producers; he always treasured the relationships with them. Since 2008, the Nam June Paik Art Center has conducted interviews with more than 50 figures, closely related to Paik’s art and life. The archived and published oral histories have become significant resources.
Shuya Abe, Shigeo Anzai, Christine van Assche, Genpei Akasekawa (1937-2014), David Atwood, Fred Barzyk, Mary Bauermeister (1934-2023), Ute & Michael Berger, Peter Brötzmann, Bazon Brock, Klaus Bussmann (1941-2019), Arthus C. Caspari (1921-2009), Christo (1935-2020), Jae-Eun Choi, Russell Connor, Philip Corner, Merce Cunningham (1919-2009), Dieter Daniels, Gertrud Meyer Denkmann (1918-2014), Don Foresta, Paul Garrin, Ingo Günther, Hans G. Helms (1932-2012), Francois Helt, Wulf Herzogenrath, Hannah Higgins, Hanna Hölling, Alison Knowles, Takeshisa Kosugi (1938-2018), Dongshik Lee, Jung Sung Lee, Kyunghee Lee, Tae Hang Lee, Chi Tien Lui, Jonas Mekas (1922-2019), Larry Miller, Barbara Moore, Phoebe Neville, Mark Patsfall, Ben Patterson (1934-2016), Willem de Ridder (1939-2022), Itsuo Sakane, John Sanborn, Jochen Saueracker, Bernhard Serexhe, Carl Solway (1935-2020), Yuji Takahashi, Olivia Tappan, Peter Weibel (1944-2023), Howard Weinberg, Byungki Whang (1936-2018), Glenn Wharton, Jud Yalkut (1938-2013), Keigo Yamamoto, Yasuhiro Yurugi
The exhibition Something like an Appleseed presents the selected interviews of 16 persons, and a related event takes place at the opening day. With a screening of some of the interview extracts—those of avant-garde artist Mary Bauermeister (1934-2023) and gayageum player Byungki Whang (1936-2018), among others—curator Hyun Seewon, artist Kwon Hyewon, and archivist Park Sangae have a conversation about their own interview practices, in terms of how to collect and recollect memories, and how these oral histories help understand art and life of someone like Paik.
Hyun Seewon is a director of Audio Visual Pavilion Lab and independent curator, writing about art and conducting research into exhibition praxis. She did a PhD with a dissertation on exhibition floorplans at Graduate School of Communication and Arts, Yonsei University. From 2013 Hyun run the Audio Visual Pavilion in a traditional Korean house at 57-6 Jahamun-ro, Seoul, and, in April 2020, transformed it into the AVP Lab at an office-cum-exhibition space for research. She has curated a wide range of exhibitions working with different institutions. Among her publications are Object Excursion (Hyunsil Munhwa 2014), Speaking with Empty Hands (mediabus 2017), and 1:1 Diagram (Workroom Press, 2018). She also publishes a quarterly magazine under the title Audio Visual Pavilion.
Kwon Hyewon graduated from Korean National University of Arts and did an MFA and a PhD in media art at Slade School of Fine Arts, University College London, and Univ. of Reading. She presented a solo exhibition, The Manual for the Invisible Projectionist (Post Territory Ujeongguk, Seoul, 2018), and was selected for the Goyang Residency, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (2017), and for the Seoul Museum of Art Emerging Artists (2018). Kwon was the winner of the SongEun Art Award (2019). Among many group exhibitions she took part in are Vast and Slow: Hyewon Kwon, Euntae Park, Eunji Cho (GMOMA, Ansan, 2021), Deoksugung Project 2021: Garden of Imagination (MMCA, Seoul, 2021), Sensory Garden: Night Falls Light Fulls (ACC, Gwangju, 2021).
Park Sang Ae is an archivist of Nam June Paik Art Center. She is interested in single-artist museum archive, media art archive, digital museum practice as well as Nam June Paik. Among her recent projects are Nam June Paik Art Center Interview Project, Paik’s videotape analysis, and research monograph publication. She co-curated Extraordinary Phenomenon, Nam June Paik (2017) and Humor Has It (2021), and published Paik-Abe Video Synthesizer (2011), Nam June Paik Art Center Interviews (2012–2020), and Paik-Abe Correspondence (2018).