Nam june Paik born 1932, in Soeul, Korea and died 2006, in Miami, Florida. As he was growing up, he was trained as a classical pianist. In 1950, Paik and his family had to flee from their home in Korea, during the Korean War. He graduated from the University of Tokyo and moved to Germany for studying.

He is the most famouse video artist in South Korea and known as a creator of video art globally. Paik started out as a modernist composer strongly influenced by John Cage, whom he met in Germany in 1958. He quickly repackaged himself as a visual artist, and his breakthrough came in 1963, with his first solo exhibition, Exposition of Music – Electronic Television. TV became Paik’s signature medium. Paik used television sets as sculptural objects in their own right, combining them into madcap and he colonised broadcasting as an aesthetic arena.


Before long, Paik moved to New York and began collaborating with the classical musician Charlotte Moorman, whom he persuaded to perform stripteases mid-concert. The pair toured Europe in 1965 and 1966, and Moorman became known as the “Topless Cellist”. After they were both arrested for indecency back in New York in 1967, Paik got Moorman to cover up with a bespoke bra made of tiny television tubes encased in plastic boxes.

Nam June Paik was positive about and open-minded to new technologies. I’m so sad he is not alive now. I think if he still alive, he could make much more incredible works. In present, we live in digital era. We always check facebook with smartphone and doing most of our life with digital products like computer, TV. When he started his career in arts, the era of digital technology began as well. And paik said like this. “I don’t know video disks can keep succeeding commercially during next 10 years,,, If I predict some things than It would like this… People can save all the works of New York Times or Del Spigel which are not printed.. People can own all the books of public libraries in NY and they can read it anywhere, whenever they want.” (1977) He predicted the time of machine civilization decades after. And I wonder what arts he would make if he still alive?   


artwork: Nam June Paik - Electronic Superhighway: Continental US (1995) - Forty seven channel and closed circuit video installation with 313 monitors, neon, and steel structure; color, sound, approx. 15 x32 x 4 feet.

artwork: Nam June Paik - ‘Route 66’, 1993, Installation, 2 channels, approx. 130 x 150 x 120 cm. Mixing technique: motorbike, monitors. -  © Nam June Paik Estate, New York, 2010/ collection Peter Kolb. Photo: Peter Kolb.