National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea

National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art | 30 Samcheong-ro, Sogyeok-dong, Jongno-gu
03062 Seoul

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artist / participant


press release only in german

MMCA Gwacheon

As the interesting title of "Multiple/Dialogue ∞" suggests, this exhibition's significance has multiple layers. First of all, it is a retrospective where Ik-Joong Kang's '3x3 inches' artworks which have continuously been made since 1980s are shown in a comprehensive way. Secondly, it can be seen as Kang’s homage to Nam June Paik, who was his artistic mentor, at the time of the 3rd anniversary of Paik’s death. Thirdly, it is also a sequel to the first exhibition entitled "Multiple/Dialogue" at the Whitney Museum of American Art at Champion in 1994. Finally, as NMCA celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2009, this exhibition is of deep significance as Kang’s work gives a new meaning to the ramp space together with The More The Better, which has been grown old with the museum.

Kang’s Samramansang, which features around 60,000 ‘3×3 inches’ works, is installed on the approximately 200 meters long spiral wall around the monumental video tower of The More The Better, together with various forms of object, video, sound and interactive media art. Among them are included his early canvas works made in the 1980s, letter series, wood carvings and recent series of ‘Moon Jar’ alongside several items which directly come from the artist's memory of childhood such as his mother's organ and his chairs from elementary school. When one considers that The More The Better is also a kind of artistic memoir of Paik’s video art, it is not too much to say that “Multiple/Dialogue ∞” reveals the manifold aspects of the personal rapport and aesthetic dialogue between the two masters that continues despite the gap between life and death.

The ramp in NMCA is a symbolic space in which the first encounter between visitors and contemporary art takes place, and it functions also as a hub to the different galleries. It is meaningful to hold an exhibition whose theme is ‘dialogue’ in this first place where some dialogues take place between the artist and the viewer, not in a way of one-way lecture or a closed monologue but of an open forum. That is, I believe, what contemporary art has been striving to achieve for a long time. Viewers are invited to participate in the dialogue between the two artists as they experience constantly blinking Paik’s video images on one hand and the endless flow of Kang’s ‘3×3 inches’ pieces on the other. In the meantime, they will find out themselves climbing up to the summit which possesses infinite dialogues and encounters. Lim Dae-geun (Curator, NMCA)