From Fluxus to Video Art: The Art Couple - Nam June Paik and Shigeko Kubota

By Midori Yoshimoto
Associate Professor of art history and gallery director at New Jersey City University

Wednesday, September 26, 2018 at 6:30 - 8:00 PM

Korean Cultural Center New York
460 Park Avenue, 6th Floor, NYC

Free admission

AHL Foundation Public Lecture Series 2018
In Collaboration with Korean Cultural Center New York


Tom Haar, Shigeko Kubota and Nam June Paik, 1974. ©Tom Haar

In Germany, in 1962, South-Korean born composer/artist, Nam June Paik gained notoriety by breaking the violin and cutting the necktie of the American composer John Cage. The Japanese sculptor Shigeko Kubota, who was part of the Tokyo avant-garde art scene, heard the news about the eccentric Korean artist and dreamt of meeting him someday. The following year, this dream came true when Paik came to Japan and held a concert at the Sogetsu Art Center. The two artists met for the first time and became active in the same Tokyo art circle. The rest is history.

Paik and Kubota both moved to New York in 1964, and now became part of the community of Fluxus - a group of multi-disciplinary artists engaged in performance art. By the late 1960s, they had transitioned to video art and became pioneers of the new medium. Although they did not marry until the late 1970s, they were together, encouraging each other’s artistic experiments until Nam June’s death in 2006. Kubota outlived him by almost a decade, making tributes to her beloved partner through various video works and through a written memoir.

Although Paik became well known as the father of video art, Kubota has remained in relative obscurity. This talk will illuminate the originality of these two unique artists and the crisscrossing of their dynamic lives, and will also discuss how they supported and influenced each other creatively.


About the Speaker

Midori Yoshimoto is Associate Professor of art history and gallery director at New Jersey City University with extensive curatorial background. While earning her Ph.D. at Rutgers University between 1996 and 2002, she served as Assistant Curator at the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, realizing several exhibitions, which travelled to Japan. As an independent curator, she has organized Do-It-Yourself Fluxus (Art Interactive, Cambridge, MA, 2003) and New Tale of Our Age, (The Visual Art Center of New Jersey, Summit, 2009). Yoshimoto has also served as a lecturer at the Museum of Modern Art, New York since 2004.

Yoshimoto’s areas of expertise are post-1945 Japanese art and its global intersections, with a particular emphasis on women artists, Fluxus, and intermedia art. She contributed to numerous museum catalogs, including: Yes Yoko Ono (Japan Society, 2000); Japanese Women Artists in Avant-garde Movements (Tochigi Prefectural Museum of Art, 2005); Dissonance: Six Japanese Women Artists (Toyota Museum of Art, 2008); Yayoi Kusama (Centre Pompidou, 2011); Ay-O Over the Rainbow Once Again (The Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, 2012); Gutai: Splendid Playground (Guggenheim Museum, 2013); and Yoko Ono One Woman Show (Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2015).


From Fluxus to Video Art: The Art Couple - Nam June Paik and Shigeko Kubota is
presented as a part of Korean Culture Day 2018 for September Program

Miro Yoon