NAM JUNE PAIK 백남준
1932 - 2006, South Korea
Nam June Paik is a Korean-born American performer, sculptor, and video and digital artist. He is known as "the father of video art," who experiments positioned video as a viable art form, and a tool for global connectivity from the early contemporary information age. Utilizing his interest in sound, audio, and electronic elements from real life, Paik’s video technology blurred past distinctions between science, fine art, and popular culture, and created a new visual language- new media art.
Born in Seoul in 1932, Paik spent his middle school days in Seoul and Hong Kong, and his high-school days in Kamakura, Japan. He studied aesthetics in the University of Tokyo, with a graduation thesis on Arnold Schoenberg. Moving to Germany in 1956 and studying European philosophy and modern music, he came to work actively with contemporary avant-garde artists and began to carve out his artist identity by doing radical performances which were completely different from artistic canons and conventions back then. Afterward, he pursued a novel path of art-making by means of new media. His media art gained momentum with his first solo show Exposition of Music.
Paik died in Miami in 2006. From 1979 to 1995 Paik served as department chair at Staatliche Kunstakademie in Dusseldorf. His work is included worldwide, including Kölnischer Kunstverien (1976), Musée d'art moderne de la Ville de Paris (1978), Whitney Museum of American Art in New York (1982), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1989), Kunsthalle Basel (1991), National Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul (1992), and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York (2000). His work also appeared in important group exhibitions such as São Paulo Biennale (1975), Whitney Biennial (1977, 1981, 1983, 1987, and 1989), and Venice Biennale (1984 and 1993).