Term Paper: Korean Contemporary Artist

Pages: 4 (1316 words)  ·  Style: Chicago  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  Topic: Art  (general)  ·  Buy This Paper

¶ … video art has become very popular in Korean due to the influence of technology. Many of the best new artists are incorporating this form of art and embedding it deeply into their work. Paik Nam, who is considered the first Korean to use video art in his Cafe a Go-Go exhibit, has now evolved into a new generation of artists. Park Hyun Ki is one of the artists that are now "incorporating images that are highly specific and relevant to a distinctly Korean audience."

Park Hyun Ki was born in 1942 in Seoul, his focus in art is in the link between spirituality and technology. He explains that his particular interest is in finding the balance between industrialization and culture. The deeper undertones of his art is that he finds in Korean culture the economic growth and the social growth from Western countries have changed it away from traditional values. He sees the video art as a method of using video monitor as an art object, however he has evolved to using a more sophisticated "merging of video and nature." His most famous work and the one to be discussed in this paper is his "untitled series (1976-79). He says that he was inspired by Paik's exhibits and he wanted to show the world a new hybrid type of art work.

The untitled series revolves around the "deification" of the video monitor. The art work consists of a monitor that is sandwiched within a column of stones, the actual vertical alignment of the work is reminiscent of the "totemic piles placed on mountainsides across Korea." The concept behind it is that, in traditional Korean culture, it is a "shamanistic custom" where passerby of the totem will make a wish by placing a stone onto of a larger stone to form a "pillar to the gods." The purpose of this work, as explained earlier is to explore the contributing factors of industrialization and modern society along with traditional concepts. The sandwiching of the monitor is symbolic of how Korea no longer depends upon the old beliefs and have cast aside many of its traditions in favor of modern technology. However, that even as Korea continues to adopt culture from the Western world they still keep to some of the traditions of the past. The fusion of these two cultures and time periods is represented in this work. Park explains that in this piece, his specific purpose is to reflect ancestral ideas of beauty. He explains that he "saw an old man piling up stones, like a child, saying that one represented him and the other his hat. The peace and harmony of the stone, the mane and the place where the stone pile was raised, opened my eyes to the beauty of Korean traditions which are based on harmony with nature." Park's focus on how nature and technology can blend just like how tradition and modernization can blend are all important aspects of his artwork and is very important in the context of current Korean culture.

Park strategically places the monitor as part of the column as a symbol of his intentions and feelings about technology and its influence in Korea. He sees that the monitor is part of the "wish" column of stones, and that it is an emblem of "hope, yearning and desire." The way that this piece is so simply done and how every part of it fits together so well, as well as the quality of the materials used, denotes how Park has his focus on lifting the piece from an "artistic platform" into one of total symbolic value. Park's creation showcases his belief that natural beauty and serenity is still part of Korean culture but that technology also now plays a very important role in how Koreans perceive the world. He attempts to carry across the idea of unity between "nature and beauty" as a universal theme, however much of this concept… [END OF PREVIEW]

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"Korean Contemporary Artist."  Essaytown.com.  March 31, 2007.  Accessed September 17, 2019.