Monday, September 22, 2014

Nam June Paik, TV Buddha (1974)

Initial Reaction: The picture depicts the religious figure known as Buddha, on a white table facing a tiny futuristic looking TV. There is a camera behind the TV and its recording that same Buddha and displaying it on the TV. The form of this art piece is what drew me in, it is hands on instead of it being just another painting or drawing, its 3D nature provides a sense of realism. I am drawn to the color contrasts of the ancient brassy looking Buddha against the sleek white TV and table it is placed on. Maybe it’s meant to say that an old religion such as Buddhism is out of place in this modernized future. There is also a question on why Buddha is being recorded, and that could signify how people want proof that a religion works.
After Research: Buddha watching himself from the TV connects to the historical “Gautama Buddha”, one that found enlightenment through contemplation and withdrawal from the culture surrounding him. The TV symbolizes timelessness and because it shows Buddha on the screen it further represents the infamous teachings of Buddha. My realizations from the research of this piece shows that I’m not very open to religion, I figured in my first reaction that Buddhism is out of place when this piece is representing the opposite. Even though this piece is displaying that the Buddha is modern and still very live, in today’s culture and society it is rarely considered. 

Research Source: Kampen-O'Riley, Michael. Art beyond the West: The Arts of Africa, India and Southeast Asia, China, Japan and Korea, the Pacific, and the Americas. New York: H.N. Abrams, 2002. Print.

Picture credited to Anna Fuster

No comments:

Post a Comment