昊美术馆（上海）历时两年的筹备，十分荣幸地宣布将于2018年1月20日为公众呈现年度大展“见者的书信：约瑟夫·博伊斯×白南准”。展览将同时呈现德国艺术家约瑟夫·博伊斯（Joseph Beuys, 1921-1986）与美籍韩裔艺术家白南准（Nam June Paik, 1932-2006）艺术生涯中的重要代表作品，并深入探讨两位先锋艺术家在20世纪艺术浪潮中的合作与密切关系。此次展览将是昊美术馆（上海）继开馆展“宣言：朱利安·罗斯菲德”之后又一年度大展，也是首次举办两位在20世纪艺术史中留下深远影响的艺术家美术馆级别的合展。
展览名“见者的书信（Lettres du Voyant）”源自于19世纪法国著名诗人、象征主义诗歌代表人物阿尔蒂尔·兰波（Arthur Rimbaud）的著作“Lettres du Voyant”（通常被译作“预见者通信”或者“通灵者书信”，基于展览的内容与风格，在此被译作“见者的书信”）。在兰波的诗歌中，“见者”是指着眼现在又能预知未来的能士，他们可以看见别人看不见的未知世界，也培育了比别人更为丰富的灵魂。约瑟夫·博伊斯代表着西方当代艺术最前卫、最具探索性的艺术取向，白南准则是东方文化背景的艺术家在当代艺术领域的杰出代表。他们的作品自足于当时的语境与个人的经历，却也同时达到了未知潮流的引领与超前预言的探索。“书信”则象征着两位艺术家作品中千丝万缕的联系和在“激浪派”艺术浪潮中积攒的深情厚谊。
第一部分将主要呈现白南准自上世纪60年代以来的代表性作品，包括了60年代到80年代的行为、录像和多媒体剪辑作品，例如在1962年激浪派艺术节中表演的行为作品《头之禅》（Zen for Head, 1962），1984年首个全球卫星设备直播的多媒体影像作品《早安，奥威尔先生》（Good Morning, Mr.Orwell, 1984）; 80年代末至艺术家去世的中晚期艺术生涯代表作，例如大型电视装置作品《印度之门》（Indian Gate, 1996-1997）、 《塔》（Tower, 2001）、《逍遥骑士》（Easy Rider, 1995）等。
第二部分将关注白南准与约瑟夫·博伊斯在20世纪先锋艺术浪潮中的合作与密切关系。其中核心作品为：白南准为纪念博伊斯而创作的《博伊斯之声》（Beuys Vox）和博伊斯在1984年与白南准共同演出完成的行为《荒原狼III》（COYOTE III, 1984）。
第三部分将集中呈现约瑟夫·博伊斯艺术生涯中代表性的行为艺术录像、装置、署名版数复制品、回顾性文献资料，以及反映博伊斯争议一生的纪录片《博伊斯》。 其中创作于1970-1983年之间的7组玻璃展柜是该部分最能展现博伊斯“社会雕塑”艺术理念的装置作品；行为艺术录像《欧亚大陆》（EURASIENSTAB, 1967）和《如何向死兔子讲解绘画》（How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare, 1965）也深刻传达了艺术家的理念。昊美术馆作为国内唯一系统性收藏约瑟夫·博伊斯作品及文献资料的当代艺术机构，提供了博伊斯展区的全部作品。
基于本次年度大展在学术研究与展陈设计上的重要性和严谨性，昊美术馆馆长尹在甲先生（Mr. Yun Cheagab）特别邀请德国杜塞尔多夫美术馆馆长、国际策展人格雷格·杨森博士（Dr. Gregor Jansen），韩国艺术批评家、前白南准艺术中心学术研究员金男洙先生（Mr. Kim Nam Soo）担任此次展览的策展人，并与昊美术馆的策展团队（主策展人陈澈，助理策展人尹颋彦、徐天仪、马珏）共同完成策展与研究工作。上述特邀策展人及昊美术馆策展人共同研究与合作，为本次展览撰写了研究文章。
本次展览白南准作品的借展工作得到了韩国Art Link Fine Art Gallery及其总监LEE Kyung Eun女士的大力支持和协助，LEE Jung Sung先生作为白南准生前的助手和合作者，为此次白南准作品的安装和重现提供了巨大的帮助。此外，昊美术馆要感谢以下白南准作品的收藏家慷慨借展：KIM Soo Kyung女士，HONG Soung Eun先生, LEE Gwang Gi先生，以及DSDL集团。
1. Exhibition Introduction
HOW Art Museum (Shanghai) is pleased to announce its exhibition of the year Lettres du Voyant: Joseph Beuys x Nam June Paik on view from January 20, 2018, after a two-year preparation. The exhibition presents the representative works by German artist Joseph Beuys (1921-1986) and Korean-American artist Nam June Paik (1932-2006) throughout their artistic careers, and further discusses the cooperation and close relationship between these two avant-garde artists in the 20th century. Lettres du Voyant is another major exhibition of HOW Art Museum (Shanghai) following the inaugural exhibition Manifesto: Julian Rosefeldt. Works 2005-2017. It is also the first institutional joint exhibition of the two artists who left a generous legacy of 20th century.
Joseph Beuys is the most radical and influential performance artist and political activist in the second half of the 20th century. He is also one of the most controversial figures in the international art field, whose complex imagination on arts, politics and social issues has made a profound impact on artists of the later generations. Nam June Paik is widely credited as one of the most important visual artists in the world in addition to the pioneer and founder of new media art and video installation art. His creative work covers the fields of arts, music, media, science and technology, as well as popular culture. Paik plays a key factor in the prosperity of new media art in the 21st century.
The exhibition title, Lettres du Voyant (“Letters of the Seer”) derives from the works of the same name by Arthur Rimbaud, a famous French poet and representative of symbolism poetry in the 19th century. In Rimbaud’s poetry, Voyant (“Seer”) elucidates a visionary figure with an eye on the present that pierces through to the unknown. A Voyant (“Seer”) can predict the imperceptible future, while inherently cultivating a soul richer than others. Joseph Beuys has presented one of the most explorative artistic approaches of the Western contemporary art, while Nam June Paik is a superlative representative of the Eastern culture in the contemporary art world. Spearheading these two unexplored trends, Beuys and Paik’s works can be considered as personifications of their time and experiences. Lettres ('Letters') implies the inextricable relations between the works of Joseph Beuys and Nam June Paik, and hints at the profound friendship between these two significant artists during the Fluxus art movement.
2. Exhibition Contents and Works
The exhibition Lettres du Voyant: Joseph Beuys x Nam June Paik occupies the entire space of the first and second floors of HOW Art Museum (Shanghai). It consists of three parts:
The first part displays Nam June Paik’s representative works since the 1960s, including his performance art, video and multimedia artworks from 1960s to 1980s, such as his performance artwork Zen for Head for the Fluxus Art Festival in 1962, the first global satellite live multimedia video work Good Morning, Mr. Orwell (1984); the representative works from the late 1980s to the late period of his life, such as large TV installation works Indian Gate (1996-1997), Tower (2001), Easy Rider (1995), etc.
The second part focuses on Joseph Beuys and Nam June Paik’s cooperation and close relationship in the avant-garde art wave of the 20th century. The key works are: Beuys Vox created by Nam June Paik for commemorating Beuys, and the performance art COYOTE III jointly produced by Joseph Beuys and Nam June Paik in 1984.
The third part presents Joseph Beuys’s works including performance art videos, installations, multiples with artist signature, literatures, and the documentary film Beuys that reflects the controversial life of Beuys. What best demonstrates Beuys’s art concept of “social sculpture” is his installation works—7 sets of vitrines produced from 1970 to 1983. The video works of performance art EURASIENSTAB (1967) and How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare (1965) also deeply convey the concept of the artist. All the works at Beuys’ exhibition area are provided by HOW Art Museum, the only contemporary art institution in China that has systematically collected Joseph Beuys’s works and documents.
3. About the Curators
With particular emphasis on the importance of academic research and exhibition design, the Director of HOW Art Museum Mr. Yun Cheagab specially invites Dr. Gregor Jansen, Director of Kunsthalle Düsseldorf and international curator, and Mr. Kim Nam Soo, Korean art critic and former academic researcher of Nam June Paik Art Center, to serve as the curators for this exhibition and to jointly complete the curatorial and research work with the curatorial team of HOW Art Museum (the chief curator CHEN Che, the assistant curators YIN Tingyan, XU Tianyi and MA Jue). The above specially invited curators and the curators of HOW Art Museum have collaboratively researched and written articles for this exhibition.
4. Special Thanks
The Korean Art Link Fine Art Gallery and its director Ms. LEE Kyung Eun have provided great support and assistance for the exhibition of Nam June Paik’s works. And Mr. LEE Jung Sung, Nam June Paik’s former assistant and partner, also has provided great help for the installation and display of Nam June Paik’s works. Moreover, HOW Art Museum also expresses sincere thanks to the following collectors of Paik’s works for their generous loan to the exhibition: Ms. KIM Soo Kyung, Mr. HONG Soung Eun, Mr. LEE Gwang Gi and DSDL Group.
Meanwhile, HOW Art Museum would like to extend sincere gratitude to our institutional partners: Cultural and Education Department of Consulate General of Germany in Shanghai and Korean Cultural Center Shanghai, for their support and coordination in this exhibition.