Nam June Paik | i |
last name: Paik
first name: Nam June
birthday: June 20, 1932
birth-place: Seoul (South Korea)
death date: January 29, 2006
died in: Miami (USA)

“He is considered to be the first video artist and played a key role in the field´s development. Originally trained as a classical pianist, while studying in Germany in the 1950s he met Karlheinz Stockhausen and John Cage, along with artists Joseph Beuys and Wolf Vostell, an encounter that inspired him to make electronic art. he was a member of Fluxus and in 1964 moved to New York and collaborated with Charlotte Moorman in works that combined video, music and performance. Paik was one of the first artists to use the Sony Portapak after its introduction in 1965 and a pioneer in using video as an art medium. The television set is an iconic element of his sculptures and robots. Retrospectives include the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1982), an the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2000).”

Art and Electronic Media


June 20th, 1932 Born in Seoul (Korea), the fifth son of a textile manufacturer
1950 The Paik family flees from the Korean War, first to Hong Kong, and later to
1956 Paik graduates from the University of Tokyo, concluding his studies of the
History of Art and the History of Music with a thesis on Arnold Schonberg
1956-58 Studies the History of Music at Munich University; meets Karlheinz
Stockhausen; studies Composition at Freiburg Conservatory
1958-63 Meets John Cage; works in the Studio fur elektronische Musik at WDR,
1959-62 Has appearances with pieces of his action music; Stockhausen’s “Originale”
is performed in Cologne
1963 Participates in “Fluxus. Internationale Festspiele neuester Musik”,
Wiesbaden; “Exposition of Musik / Electronic Television”, the first
exhibition including TV monitors, is shown at Galerie Parnass, Wuppertal
1963-64 Travels to Japan; meets Shuya Abe; experiments with electromagnets and
color television; visits New York, collaborates with Charlotte Moorman
1965 First solo exhibition “Electronic Art” in the USA at Galeria Bonino, New
York Nov. 23-Dec. 11. Brochure, with text by Paik. Buys the first portable video recorder
1966-69 First multi-monitor installations; works with magnetically distorted TV
recordings; “Electronic Opera No. 1” is performed at the live program “The
Medium is the Medium”, GBH-TV, Boston
1969-70 With Shuya Abe, constructs the video synthesizer
1971 Works at WNET’s TV lab, New York
Since 1979 Chair at Staatliche Kunstakademie, Dusseldorf
January 1st, 1984 Satellite broadcast of “Good Morning Mr. Orwell” from the Centre Pompidou, Paris, and a WNET-TV studio, New York
1987 Elected a member of the Akademie der Kunste, Berlin
1988 Erects a media tower, “The more the better”, from 1003 monitors for the
Olympic Games at Seoul
1990 “Video Arbor” is put up in Philadelphia as a sculpture for the public
1991-92 Double exhibition “Video Time – Video Space” at Kunsthalle Basel and
Kunsthalle Zurich, subsequently shown in Dusseldorf and Vienna
1993 Nam June Paik with Hans Haake represents Germany in XLV Venice Biennale
d’ Arte
January 29th, 2006 Dies at the age of 73 years in Miami, USA.
Awards Received numerous grants and awards from, inter alia, the Guggenheim Museum, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the American Film Institute; Will Grohmann Award, Goslar Emperor’s Ring, UNESCO’s Picasso Medal, Goslar Kaiserringes Award, Kyoto Award, National Arts Club Award.
Retrospectives Kolnischer Kunstverein (1976), Cologne
The Whitney Museum of American Art (1982), New York
The Worlds of Nam June Paik (2000) at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Ho-Am Art Gallery, Seoul and the Rodin Gallery, Seoul.
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