March 20, 2017 - Nam June Paik Art Center - Imaginary Asia
March 20, 2017

Nam June Paik Art Center

Imaginary Asia
March 9–July 2, 2017

Nam June Paik Art Center
10 Paiknamjune-ro, Giheung-gu
Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–6pm
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Artists: AES+F, Ahmad Ghossein, Aida Makoto, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Dinh Q. Lê, Harun Farocki, Hayoun Kwon, Ho Tzu Nyen, Ji Hye Yeom, Meiro Koizumi, Moon Kyungwon & Jeon Joonho, Muntean & Rosenblum, Nalini Malani, Song Dong, Wael Shawky, Xu Bing, Yang Fudong

Curated by Jinsuk Suh (Director, Nam June Paik Art Center), Hyun-Suk Seo (Professor, Graduate School of Communication and Arts Yonsei University)


Imaginary Asia interrogates newly emergent approaches in contemporary art that deal with history. Collaborating with artists whose visions reinterpret or come to terms with varying historical changes in Asia on personal levels, Nam June Paik Art Center proposes to take a close look at the ways Asian histories are mapped out through moving images. Through a wide range of sensibilities and approaches, the invited artists attempt to make sense of the layered implications and effects of modernization, ideological clashes, and globalization.

This exhibition presents works by 17 artists who have dealt with aspects of Asian experiences through moving images. These artists propose dialogic and imaginative history–making instead of adhering to conventional forms of historiography as a way of documenting and explicating Asia’s past and present. Often challenging the boundaries between fact and construction, their works amount to sketches of multimodal realities. Neither conforming to the official "History" nor falling back on literary speculation, their works recognize the limits of authoritarian historicism. The exhibition is an open–ended, far from complete or comprehensive, archiving of distantly connected layers of histories.

The exhibition introduces two forms of video productions. The first category comprises East Asian artists’ works that reinterpret or reconsider differing conditions for historical identities. The second category concerns the global and/or globalized contexts different Asian regions are interconnected through. The artworks in this category deal with cross-cultural references in looking at given borders to Europe, often allowing imaginary unity between the East and West.

One other core of investigation in Imaginary Asia takes moving images as the tools to understand, communicate, and expand upon histories. Video Art, a field much accredited to Nam June Paik, has expanded and transformed into an unprecedentedly wide range of alternate imaging technologies in the 21st century. The increasing variety of visual media has inspired critiques on the photographic and cinematic representation of reality. At the same time, moving images have acquired elastic and organic identities and functionalities, stirring the indexical ground of conventional optical tools, i.e. photography and film, and inciting alternate, multiple relations between reality and representation, between the private and the public. Imaginary Asia will serve as the seat for multi-layered explorations of the dynamic operations of today’s multiple moving images.

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