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Art What!: National Gallery Singapore to host blockbuster exhibition on ‘father of video art’ Nam June Paik this December

National Gallery Singapore is set to host blockbuster exhibition Nam June Paik: The Future is Now this December. Known as the  “father of video art”, futurist and internationally renowned artist Nam June Paik’s work transports visitors into an immersive and multisensory world of videos, in the monumental artist’s first major retrospective in Southeast Asia. 

Prior to arriving in Singapore, the exhibition has toured from London’s Tate Modern, to San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art (SFMoMA) and Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum, before arriving at the Gallery – the first and only Asian venue on the map.

Ahead of the exhibition, members of the public can also witness the symbolic passing of the baton and learn about the enduring influence of Nam June Paik on today’s local and international artists through a two-day virtual event, Afterlude-Prelude: Responses to Nam June Paik, to be streamed on the Gallery’s Facebook page.

Co-curated by Rudolf Frieling, Curator of Media Arts; Tomoko Kanamitsu, Barbara and Stephan Vermut Director of Public Engagement, SFMOMA; and Vanini Belarmino, Assistant Director (Programmes), National Gallery Singapore; the programme is prompted by Nam June Paik’s global satellite projects and the surge in remote communication due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This series of programmes explores the legacy of Paik’s texts in performances, readings and artistic interventions. Featuring more than 20 artists from San Francisco, Los Angeles, Singapore, London, Berlin, New York, Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai and Manila, several hours of material will be live streamed from SFMoMA and National Gallery Singapore.

The programmes use Paik’s texts as an inspiration and point of departure, highlighting reflections and writings across his career that have typically been reduced to anecdotes and pithy sayings. They will focus on specific texts, with a curated list of “responders” and performers each making unique contributions. The title of the programme references Paik’s eponymous text on his seminal 1963 work Exposition of Music – Electronic Television, as well as the end of Paik’s retrospective at SFMOMA and the “prelude” to its final venue at the Gallery.

Featured artists of the programmes include Seoul-based curator Sue Kim, Tokyo/New York based artist Aki Onda, Singaporean musician weish, Berlin-based artist Ayumi Paul, Berlin-based artist Michael Rauter, London-based artist Lynn Lu and Singaporean artist Melinda Lauw, Singaporean artist Song Ming Ang, Manila-based artist Tad Ermitaño, Singaporean artist Yuen Chee Wai, Singaporean sound artist Tini Aliman, and Singaporean sound artist Bani Haykal.

Afterlude-Prelude: Responses to Nam June Paik will be streamed on the Gallery’s Facebook on 18th to 19th September 2021 and SFMoMa’s page from 17th to 19th September 2021. 

Nam June Paik: The Future is Now runs from 10th December 2021 to 27th March 2022 at National Gallery Singapore. Visitors can enjoy an exclusive 1-for-1 deal for early bird tickets to the exhibition for tickets purchased by 31st October 2021. For more information on both events, visit

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