December 16, 2016 - Nam June Paik Art Center - Blast Theory wins 2016 Nam June Paik Art Center Prize
December 16, 2016

Nam June Paik Art Center

Blast Theory wins 2016 Nam June Paik Art Center Prize

Prize ceremony: February 2

Nam June Paik Art Center
10 Paiknamjune-ro, Giheung-gu
Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do
17068
Korea
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–6pm

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The Nam June Paik Art Center is pleased to announce that Blast Theory (UK, formed in 1991) was selected as the winner of the 2016 Nam June Paik Art Center Prize. Blast Theory has been internationally noted for their interactive works based on various media such as theater, radio, games, and the web. The Selection Committee considered Blast Theory as artists who investigate paths that no other artist has taken, and highly values their exploration of new boundaries, which matches the criteria of the Nam June Paik Art Center Prize. The winner is invited to Korea in February 2017 for the Prize Ceremony, which will be celebrated with the governor of Gyeonggi-do. In addition, the winner is awarded 50,000 USD, and will have the opportunity to hold a solo exhibition at the Nam June Paik Art Center during the second half of 2017.

For this year’s Prize, five Nominating Committee members proposed two candidates respectively; a separate Selection Committee reviewed the ten candidates and selected the final winner. The Nominating Committee members were:

–Catherine Wood (Senior Curator, International Art (Performance), Tate Modern, UK)
–Fumihiko Sumitomo (Director, Arts Maebashi, Associate Professor, Tokyo University of Arts, Japan)
–Rudolf Frieling (Curator of Media Arts, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, USA)
–Young June Lee (Professor, Dept. of Intermedia Art, Kaywon University of Art and Design, Korea)
–Kyunghwa Ahn (Chief Curator, Nam June Paik Art Center, Korea)

The Selection Committee members were:
–Bartomeu Marí (Director, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea)
–Jeffrey Shaw (Chair Professor of Media art, School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong)
–Nicolas de Oliveira (Director of Research and Curatorial Projects—Montabonel & Partners, UK)
–Soh Yeong Roh (Director, Art Center Nabi, Korea)
–Jinsuk Suh (Director, Nam June Paik Art Center, Korea)

The head of this year’s Selection Committee, Soh Yeong Roh, has remarked, “Blast Theory stands out in their wide-ranging usage of various media such as theater, internet, film, on-offline games, and recently, the field of data science. Since the mid 1990s, the group followed the trajectory of the development of the media, with their acute and in-depth psychological analyses. I would call them the most contemporary media-poet of this age. Blast Theory puts emphasis on narrative itself rather than digging into the properties of the media. Those narratives are ordinary yet extremely British.”

The winner, Blast Theory, has expressed, “We are delighted to be the recipients of the Nam June Paik Art Centre Prize (2016)—it feels fantastic to win this award for all the work we have made over the last 25 years. It is an honour to be recognised in relation to Nam June Paik, whose pioneering work set the stage for much of the art work with technology which has followed and we accept this prize in the sure knowledge that we would not have made this work without so many fantastic people who have supported us.”

The Nam June Paik Art Center Prize was established in 2009. Since its inception, the Prize has been awarded to artists and theorists whose works are very much in tune with Paik’s work amalgamating art and technology, pursuing new ways of communication, interacting with audiences, and fusing and conflating music, performance and visual art. The first Prize was awarded in 2009 to four artists, Seung-Taek Lee, Eun-Me Ahn, Ceal Floyer, and Robert Adrian X; philosopher and sociologist Bruno Latour won the 2010 Prize; the 2012 Prize went to artist Doug Aitken; and the winner of the 2014 Prize was Haroon Mirza.

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