Nam June Paik

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John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Nam June Paik and Shuya Abe at the Galeria Bonino, New York, 23 November 1971. Photo: Tom Haar. [1]
Born July 20, 1932(1932-07-20)
Seoul, South Korea
Died January 29, 2006(2006-01-29) (aged 73)
Miami, Florida, United States
Web UbuWeb Film, Wikipedia
Collections NJPAC Seoul, Mumok 85, SFMOMA 62, ZKM 60, EAI 42, MoMA 36, Pompidou 31, Whitney 29, NGA 24, Tate 17, Ludwig 13, Walker 10, SAAM 10, Stedelijk 10, Reina Sofia 9, NSW Sydney 9, Moderna Museet 7, NRW 5, MMK Frankfurt 5, NGA Canberra 4, Guggenheim 3, Artic 3, Generali 3, Flick 2, Kunstpalast Düsseldorf 1, VDB 1, Boijmans 1, LACMA 1, IMA 1, VMFA 1, Stuart 1, Daimler 1, Zabludowicz
Robot K-456 (1964) struck by car near Whitney Museum, New York, 1982.
Poster for A Tribute to John Cage, 1976.

Nam June Paik (1932-2006), internationally recognized as founder of video art, created a large body of work, including video sculptures, installations, performances, videotapes and television productions. His art and ideas embodied a radical new vision for an art form that changed global visual culture.

Born in 1932 in Seoul, Korea, to a wealthy industrial family, Paik and his family fled Korea in 1950 at the outset of the Korean War, first to Hong Kong, then to Japan. Paik graduated from the University of Tokyo in 1956, and then traveled to Germany to pursue his interest in avant-garde music, composition and performance. There he met John Cage and George Maciunas and became a member of the Fluxus movement. In 1963, Paik had his legendary one-artist exhibition at the Galerie Parnass in Wuppertal, Germany, that featured his prepared television sets, which radically altered the look and content of television.

After emigrating to the United States in 1964, he settled in New York City, where he expanded his engagement with video and television, and had exhibitions of his work at the New School, Galerie Bonino, and the Howard Wise Gallery. In 1965, Paik was one of the first artists to use a portable video camcorder.

In 1969, he worked with Japanese engineer Shuya Abe to construct an early video-synthesizer that allowed Paik to combine and manipulate images from different sources. The Paik-Abe video synthesizer transformed electronic moving-image making. Paik invented a new artistic medium with television and video, creating an astonishing array of artworks, from his seminal video Global Groove (1973), to his sculptures TV Buddha (1974) and TV Cello (1971); to installations such as TV Garden (1974), Video Fish (1975) and Fin de Siecle II (1989); videotapes Living with Living Theatre (1989) and Guadalcanal Requiem (1977/1979); and global satellite television productions such as Good Morning Mr. Orwell, which broadcast from the Centre Pompidou in Paris and a WNET-TV studio in New York City January 1, 1984.

Paik has been the subject of numerous exhibitions, including the major retrospectives: Nam June Paik, organized by Tate Liverpool and museum kunst palast, Düsseldorf (2011); The Worlds of Nam June Paik organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City (2000); and Nam June Paik, organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art (1982). He has been featured in major international art exhibitions including Documenta, the Venice Biennale, and the Whitney Biennial. (Source)

Film recordings[edit]

Sound recordings[edit]


  • Nam June Paik. Werke 1946-1976. Musik, Fluxus, Video, ed. Wulf Herzogenrath, Cologne: Kölnischer Kunstverein, 1976, 168 pp; repr., 1980. Exh. held at Kölnischer Kunstverein, 19 Nov 1976-9 Jan 1977. (German)
    • Nam June Paik: muziek - Fluxus - video, werken 1946-1976, ed. Dorine Mignot, Amsterdam: Stedelijk Museum, 1977. Exh. held 11 Feb-27 Mar 1977. (Dutch)
  • Nam June Paik, New York: Whitney Museum, with New York: W.W. Norton, 1982, 143 pp, IA. Retrospective. With essays by Dieter Ronte, Michael Nyman, John G. Hanhardt, and David A. Ross. (English)
  • Nam June Paik. Eine Data Base, eds. Klaus Bussmann and Florian Matzner, Cantz, 1993, 272 pp. Exh. held at Venice Biennale 1993. (English)//(German)
  • Nam June Paik, eds. Sook-Kyung Lee and Rudolf Frieling, London: Tate, 2019, 176 pp. [3] (English)
  • Nam June Paik: I Expose the Music, eds. Museum Ostwall im Dortmunder U and Rudolf Frieling, Leipzig: Spector Books, 2023, 242 pp. Text: Lisa Bosbach, Christina Danick, Hendrik Folkerts, Rudolf Frieling, Hanna Hölling, Stefan Mühlhofer, Regina Selter, Stefanie Weißhorn-Ponert, Kurt Wettengl. Publisher.
    • Nam June Paik: I Expose the Music, eds. Museum Ostwall im Dortmunder U and Rudolf Frieling, Leipzig: Spector Books, 2023, 242 pp. Publisher. (German)


  • "Cybernated Art", in Manifestos, New York: Something Else Press, 1966, p 24; repr. in The New Media Reader, eds. Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Nick Montfort, MIT Press, 2003, pp 227-229.