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(1932 – 2006), South Korea

Nam June Paik Biography

Nam June Paik was born in Korea, but moved to New York City in 1964. He is frequently referred to as 'the grandfather of video art.' Paik began his career as a composer and musician studying at the University of Tokyo, the University of Munich, and the Conservatory of Music in Freiburg, Germany. Influenced by the composer John Cage, Paik's interests brought him into the orbit of Fluxus, an international postwar movement of artists -- many of whom were influenced by the earlier work of Duchamp and Dada -- who sought to break down the barriers between high art and everyday life. Fluxus is often considered 'anti-art' in its sometimes violent renunciation of conventional definitions of the art object.

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Paik was first drawn to video in the context of his music; it was the random quality of the television soundtrack which initially appealed to him. For over three decades, however, he was a provocative and prophetic spokesman for new uses of television technology and for the relevance of TV to art. He used television sets in startling constructions for performances (i.e., the TV as cello, bra, or glasses) and designed installations composed of televisions transformed into aquariums, and stacked as pyramids. Paik also made TV chairs and many versions of TV robots. He combined fast-paced video clips -- often dramatically colorized -- in high-energy montages programmed over several television monitors. Paik was a pioneer in combining straight or manipulated segments of broadcast TV with artist-produced videos, organized by a complex visual and aural matrix.

Source: Stuartcollection.ucsd.edu

Nam June Paik Featured Artworks

Pyramid Interactive by Nam June Paik contemporary artwork
Nam June PaikPyramid Interactive, 1994–1995Mixed media
Kukje Gallery Contact Gallery

Nam June Paik Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Fluxus ABC at Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna
18 December 2019–14 February 2020 Group Exhibition Fluxus ABC Galerie KrinzingerGalerie Krinzinger
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Show, Crow's Eye View: The Korean Peninsula at Tina Kim Gallery, New York
10 September–17 October 2015 Group Show Crow's Eye View: The Korean Peninsula Tina Kim GalleryNew York

Nam June Paik Represented By

Gagosian contemporary art gallery in 980 Madison Avenue, New York, USA Gagosian New York, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, London, Paris, Le Bourget, Geneva, Basel, Rome, Athens, Hong Kong
P21 contemporary art gallery in Seoul, South Korea P21 Seoul

Nam June Paik In Ocula Magazine

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Taipei Connections: Eleven Works to Collect Ocula Insight Taipei Connections: Eleven Works to Collect By Sam Gaskin, Taipei

Ai Weiwei, Odyssey (2016) at Chambers Fine Art Resembling paintings on a Grecian urn, this wallpaper is an epic narrative about the plight of refugees, one of Ai Weiwei's chief concerns in recent years. Ai himself fled China for Europe after years of violence and intimidation. Dóra Maurer, Overlappings 34 (2006). Acrylic on canvas...

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Michelle Yun Ocula Conversation Michelle Yun By Stephanie Bailey, New York

Michelle Yun, who specialises in Chinese contemporary art and diaspora artists, is the Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Asia Society Museum. As such, Yun is tasked with managing the museum’s considerable initiatives in modern and contemporary visual art by Asian and Asian American artists at an institution that is...

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Synergetic Seoul: Movers In The Korean Art Scene Ocula Report Synergetic Seoul: Movers In The Korean Art Scene By Ines Min, Seoul

It’s easy to list off the most influential gallerists in Seoul. Kukje, Arario, Hyundai, PKM, Pyo and Gana Art. But in recent years, a pivotal band of creative spaces have been taking the South Korean art scene in a different direction, headed by a new generation of artists and gallerists able to adapt to the post-recession economic...

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Melissa Chiu Ocula Conversation Melissa Chiu By Jessica Riddiford, Hong Kong

Asia Society recently played host to some of the most significant institutional figures in the art world, including Glenn D. Lowry (Director of The MoMA New York), Caroline Collier (Director, Tate Modern), Yuko Hasegawa (Chief Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo) and Lars Nittve (Executive Director, M+, Hong Kong).  These figures...

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Nam June Paik In Related Press

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Life and Technology: The Binary of Nam June Paik Related Press Life and Technology: The Binary of Nam June Paik 1 November 2019, Gagosian Quarterly

Following a major stroke in 1996, Paik, ambitious as ever, began to infuse his TV sculptures with notes of personal and spiritual reflection. He made sculptural video homages to artist friends and gesturally painted and inscribed the old TVs and other found objects that crowded his studio, producing multilayered works that fulfill a promise he...

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Standing Up for Humanity in a World of Screens Related Press Standing Up for Humanity in a World of Screens 1 November 2019, The New York Times

LONDON — One of Europe's leading museums has devoted its biggest show of the season to someone who saw the future more clearly than any artist of his century. He was a restless traveler and a keen student of anatomy who danced across the boundaries of art and science. He blended ancient religion with new forms of representation, and sketched...

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Time by Dance by Paik Related Press Time by Dance by Paik 31 October 2019, Gagosian Quarterly

Screens flicker and bodies groove across time in Nam June Paik 's monumental installation Fin de Siècle II (1989). Framed within the displays of more than two hundred 1980s television sets, Merce Cunningham and his sinuous outline momentarily dance a duet. The two figures multiply across the kaleidoscopic screens–some remaining upright, some...

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Nam June Paik today – part II Related Press Nam June Paik today – part II 18 October 2019, ArtReview

Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries (Young-hae Chang and Marc Voge) How did you first encounter the work of Nam June Paik? Paik accosted us in Paris, on the rue de Seine, in front of his hotel, La Louisiane, during the open market. Then he ran up to his room and brought us back a catalogue of his current show.

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