Docs

Production set to begin on documentary about life of artist Nam June Paik

An as-yet-untitled documentary feature on artist Nam June Paik from first-time feature filmmaker Amanda Kim has begun production. The film will be directed and produced by Kim, previously a creative director ...
December 16, 2021

An as-yet-untitled documentary feature on artist Nam June Paik from first-time feature filmmaker Amanda Kim has begun production.

The film will be directed and produced by Kim, previously a creative director at Vice Media, and is scheduled to be completed in 2022. Jennifer Blei Stockman, David Koh, Amy Hobby and Jesse Wann are producers on the film, with Kenzo Digital, Steven Jang, Steven Yeun, Fab 5 Freddy and Florence Sloan attached as executive producers.

Mariko Munro, Heejung Oh and Alain de la Mata are coproducers on the film. Nelson Walker is set to work as director of photography with Taryn Gould editing.

Nam June Paik is often referred to as the Father of Video Art, and he was one of the first artists to use television as a canvas, also inventing the video synthesizer. He coined the term “electronic superhighway” in the 1970s and predicted the future of digital communication. He also launched a series of global satellite art events, featuring such artists as David Bowie, Laurie Anderson, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Joseph Beuys and Issey Miyake.

Beuys, Bowie and Sakamoto will be featured in the film’s footage in addition to Charlotte Moorman, Yoko Ono, Jonas Mekas, Allen Ginsberg, Andy Warhol, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, George Maciunas, Bad Brains and John Hanhardt.

Featuring unseen footage and archival material, the film covers his life, including his fleeing to Japan from Korea at the outbreak of the Korean War, moving to Germany and then to New York City where he settled in 1964.

“Nam June Paik imagined the ways in which communication technologies and the media could be a tool to foster electronic empathy between different cultures. His vision feels extremely relevant today,” Kim said in a news release.

Stockman and Koh added: “Nam June Paik is one of our creative heroes and an inspiration to every artist working today. Surprisingly, he is still unrecognized by the larger public and we hope our film will change that.”

The documentary is a Nam June Production made in association with Kindred Ventures, Seesaw Pictures, Octopus Originals and Gyopo, and is the first authorized documentary made in association with the estate of Nam June Paik.

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