Yulgok is one of Nam June Paik’s robot series that are based on Korean figures. The robot represents the 16th-century Confucian scholar and politician Yi I whose pen name is Yulgok. The head is made with a monitor of an old vacuum tube television; the chest and belly contain monitors; two ball-shaped antennae hang from its two arms. Rounded-edge radios are placed on both sides as two legs so that the robot looks like sitting with its legs crossed. The robot overall takes on a stable and well-balanced shape. Paik’s sense of sculpting is demonstrated in his use of the visual forms of components in the way suggestive of the robot’s bodily gesture and posture. On the seven monitors, such videos as Korean fan dance are played back in a speedy and flashy way adding vitality to the whole work. The contents of the past like the figures in Korean history are rendered in the form of a robot employing television and video. It may be said that, in representing historical figures through media technologies, Paik drew the past, present, and future together.
Nam June Paik
4 CRT TV sets, 3 LCD TV sets, 3 vacuum-tube TV cases, 4 vacuum-tube radio cases, 2 video distributors, 1-channel video, color, silent, DVD