From 2001, the idea of building an institution dedicated to Nam June Paik was discussed with the artist. During these conversations Nam June Paik expressed the wish that this new institution become "the House where the Spirit of Nam June Paik lives on."
Opened to the public in 2008, the Nam June Paik Art Center, aspires to fulfill the artist’s wish by informing its activities through the development of creative and critical research into his thinking and practice. Inspired by the generosity, criticality, and interdisciplinary nature characteristic of both Paik’s work and life, the Nam June Paik Art Center is committed to developing the following:
- A permanent exhibition that contextualizes the artist’s practice, presenting pieces from the center’s collection alongside works on loan from other collections and institutions.
- A yearly program of temporary exhibitions exploring thematic issues and contemporary artistic and curatorial practices.
- An education program offering workshops, seminars, talks and events as platforms to discuss and explore new perspectives on Nam June Paik, as well as notions of creativity and engagement impacted upon by his practice.
- A collection that continues to grow and reflect the breadth of Paik’s contribution to the fields of music, artistic practice and media arts as well as the blurring of these distinctions potentiated by his practice.
- A publication and research program dedicated to investigating Nam June Paik’s legacy from alternative perspectives that emphasize and question the political and social significance, potentiality, and complexities of creativity and artistic practice.
Nam June Paik’s nomadic and embracing spirit challenged established views, even avant-garde ones, and opened up potentialities where many believed they had been exhausted. As the Nam June Paik Art Center, we evoke these traits to guide us in this journey of becoming a home for this spirit and hope to share this artist’s vision and critical creativity with our audience and peers.
The enigmatic mathematical symbols used for the main logo image of Nam June Paik Art Center are derived from the numerical expression that Paik used in an article for the magazine De/collage No.3 in 1963 and re-used commemorating his 54th birthday. They represent Paik’s rich imagination and unique sense of humor. The logo image shows that when a question is reversed and transformed into a new question, endless transformations and recurrences take place: it incorporates the identity of Nam June Paik Art Center aiming to be an experimental space that doesn’t cease to question established answers.