Nam June Paik

Nam June Paik was a Korean-American artist, internationally revered as the “Father of Video Art.” Paik was one of the first artists to use a portable video camcorder and his vast array of artworks included video sculptures, installations, performance pieces, videotapes, and television productions. Throughout his extensive career, Paik established himself globally as a figurehead of innovation, and his ideas continue to serve as inspiration for new generations of artists. 

Born in Seoul, Korea in 1932, Paik and his family fled the country in 1950 following the outset of the Korean War, which brought them first to Hong Kong, then to Japan. Paik received his BA in aesthetics from the University of Tokyo in 1956, after which he relocated to Germany in order to further his exploration of avant-garde music, composition, and performance. In Germany, Paik became affiliated with fellow artists John Cage and George Maciunas, eventually becoming a member of the Neo-Dada Fluxus movement. Paik's 1963 one-artist exhibition at the Galerie Parnass in Wuppertal, Germany was deemed “legendary,” his use of prepared television sets radically altering the look and content of television. 

Paik immigrated to the United States in 1964, settling in New York City, where he exhibited several of his works at the New School, Galerie Bonino, and the Howard Wise Gallery. In 1969, Paik constructed an early model of a video-synthesizer in a collaborative effort with Japanese engineer Shuya Abe, which enabled Paik to combine and manipulate images from a variety of sources. The aptly named Paik-Abe video synthesizer was a breakthrough in electronic moving-image making. Paik's transformation of electronic media created a place for television and video in the arts, thereby establishing a new artistic medium and paving the way for a new era of artworks. Some of his prolific pieces include his seminal videotape Global Groove (1973), his sculptures TV Buddha (1974), and TV Cello (1971), installations such as TV Garden (1974), Video Fish (1975) and Fin de Siecle II (1989), the videotapes Living with the Living Theatre (1989) and Guadalcanal Requiem (1977 - 1979); and global satellite television productions such as Good Morning Mr. Orwell, which was broadcast from the Centre Pompidou in Paris and a WNET-TV studio in New York City on January 1st, 1984. 

Paik has been the subject of numerous exhibitions, including two major retrospectives, and has also been featured in major international art exhibitions including Documenta, the Venice Biennale and the Whitney Biennial. Following Paik's death in 2006, the Nam June Paik Art Center opened in a suburb of Seoul, South Korea, in 2008.”


Fluxus Museum: Nam June Paik

Nam June Paik's PBS (1963-2000)