HOW Art Museum (Shanghai) is pleased to announce its second exhibition Lettres du Voyant: Joseph Beuys x Nam June Paik on view since January 20, 2018 after two-year preparation. The exhibition will present the important and representative works by German artist Joseph Beuys (1921 - 1986) and Korean-American artist Nam June Paik (1932 - 2006) throughout their artistic careers, and further discuss the cooperation and close relationship between these two avant-garde artists in the 20th century. Joseph Beuys is the most radical and influential performance artist and political activist during the second half of the 20th century. He is also one of international art’s most polarizing figures whose complex imagination on arts, politics and social issues has made a profound impact on the artists of later generations. Nam June Paik is a Korean-American artist widely credited as one of the most representative Asian artists and the founder of video art. His creations cover the fields of arts, music, media, science and technology, as well as popular culture. Paik has a far-reaching influence on the prosperity of new media art in the 21st century.
The exhibition title, Lettres du Voyant ('Letters of the Seer') derives from the works (letters) titled Lettres du Voyant by Arthur Rimbaud (1854 –1891), a French poet who is well known for his contributions to Symbolism and his influence on modern literature and arts, which prefigured surrealism. In Rimbaud’s letters, Voyant ('the Seer') indicates the visionary with an eye on the present reaches the unknown. Voyant ('the Seer') can predict the invisible future, so as to cultivate soul richer than others. Joseph Beuys represents one of the most explorative art approaches of Western contemporary art, while Nam June Paik is the outstanding representative of Eastern culture in the contemporary art world. Leading the unexplored trend and exploring the prophecy, Beuys and Paik’s works personify the context at the time and their experiences. Lettres ('Letters') implies the inextricable relations between the works of Joseph Beuys and Nam June Paik, and suggests the profound friendship between these two significant artists developed in the Fluxus art movement.
HOW Art Museum invites Gregor Jansen, international renowned German curator and director of the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, and Kim Nam Soo, Korean art critic and former researcher of Nam June Paik Art Center as co-curators of the exhibition, to conduct the curatorial and research work together with the curatorial team of HOW Art Museum. The exhibition will be on view from January 20, 2018 to May 13, 2018.