“Many art students have never studied Nam June Paik, as the school curriculum is still based around the Western canon. I hope that changes”: Amanda Kim on Nam June Paik – Moon Is the Oldest TV
Nam June Paik: Moon Is the Oldest TV is the feature debut documentary from Amanda Kim that explores the life and work of visionary Korean artist Nam June Paik, the “father of video art”. The film dives into his global experiences, his Asian identity and how these factors influenced his art.
The Upcoming had an in-depth chat with the filmmaker about her five-year journey to piece together Paik’s life, drawing from his network of friends worldwide and his extensive archives. The director discussed the artist’s personal history and the global events that served as his “antagonist” and shaped his groundbreaking work. She also spoke about wanting to capture his eccentric persona, his embracing of “happy accidents” in the creative process, and his conviction in art as a universal communicator. Despite his work being ahead of its time and initially dismissed, Kim emphasises Paik’s significant impact on pop culture; but her film also doesn’t shy away from showcasing Paik’s contradictions and his constant push-pull with the art world. She shared her hope that the documentary showcases his persistent optimism in challenging the norms, leaving the audience inspired and nudging them to question the status quo. Finally, Kim reflected on the making of this film as her debut, touching on the challenges she faced, the impact of being a female filmmaker and the lasting influence of Paik’s approach on her own journey.
Nam June Paik: Moon Is the Oldest TV is released in select cinemas on 19th May 2023. Read our review here.
Watch the trailer for Nam June Paik: Moon Is the Oldest TV here: