Nam June Paik’s art is socially critical while also being conscious of the means of communication in popular culture.
I have passed through this piece in the Smithsonian Museum in D.C. many times, and I have to say I have never stopped and taken it in. Not because I don’t like it or I find it boring, rather, it is because everyone seems to hover to the instillation that their intense attraction to the instillation (especially in contrast to the rest of the art in the building) makes me stay at a distance. Paik’s work seems to have intended to elicit that reaction from myself and the other. Both the awing at the lights and beauty of the work while also awing at other’s response to it.
This piece felt incredibly homey and warm to me. It reminds me of my youth, the duality of media and television with books and academia. Something else that stands out in this piece is the tv cabinet in relation to the art on the wall, it is the Chinese-centered exploration of traditional and modern.
The individual pieces by themselves are quirky and interesting and as a whole, grand entity, it produces this clustered yet calm collective. The collection of different tv sets, small life-like objects, both in color and texture seem to present duality.