This exhibition presents the work of the American Korean artist Nam June Paik as a key figure of the 20th-century avant-garde movement. Paik’s experimentation with video, television technology, and large-scale installations not only situated him as a pioneer of interdisciplinary artistic practice, but also earned him the title of “the father of video art.” Born in South Korea in 1932, Paik moved first to Japan and eventually moved to Germany to study music. In Germany, he encountered musicians, composers, and experimental artists including John Cage, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Joseph Beuys, all of whom would become Paik’s life-long collaborators. In 1964, Paik immigrated to the United States where he became involved in the New York avant-garde and Fluxus, an informal international group of experimental artists. Over the next 30 years, Paik remained at the forefront of video and new media practice, collaborating with artistic and cultural figures such as Merce Cunningham, Laurie Anderson, and David Bowie, as well as engineers and broadcasters.
This exhibition was previously at Tate. It will also travel to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (November 2020–January 2021), SFMOMA (March 2021–July 2021), and the National Gallery Singapore (September 2021–January 2022).
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