Nam June Paik

Nam June Paik (July 1932 – January 2006)

“Once recorded on videotape, you are no longer free to die,”

Nam June Paik, born in South Korea, was a Korean multimedia artist. He went on to live across Germany, the USA and Japan and has been branded the ‘father of video art’.

“I want to shape the TV screen canvas as precisely as Leonardo, as freely as Picasso, as colorfully as Renoir, as profoundly as Mondrian, as violently as Pollock, and as lyrically as Jasper Johns

Paik worked at the intersection of art, installation, performance and technology.

“Skin has become inadequate in interfacing with reality. Technology has become the body’s new membrane of existence.”

In 1957, Paik attended the International Summer Courses for New Music in Darmstadt when he met Karlheinz Stockhausen and again in 1958 when he met John Cage, the latter of whom had a great influence on Paik. In Hommage à John Cage (1959), Paik used a combination of audiotape and performance to challenge traditional musical instrumentation and composition.

In 1962, Paik took part in the Fluxus International Festival of the New Music in Wiesbaden.

In 1974, he coined the phrase ‘electronic superhighway’, foreseeing the future of communication in the age of the internet. Paik also used more ‘traditional’ mediums for his art including paintings and drawings.


Official website:

Official website:


Gagosian biography & other articles:

Biography & timeline of exhibitions (German):

Smithsonian American Art Museum biography & book talk on Paik’s ‘We Are In Open Circuits’:

Timeline (German):

Guggenheim biography:

MoMA biography:




Paik’s Works:

TATE video on Paik’s work:

Visual exhibits of Paik’s works:

Timeline & description of major artworks:

Artsy biography & visual exhibits including Zen For TV:

22 visual artworks:!#filterName:all-paintings-chronologically,resultType:masonry

Works of art by hand:

Action music; video sculptures; TV Bra for Living Sculpture; TV Cello; film & video:

Artnet biography & visual artworks:

A look back at some of Paik’s most famous works including Magnet TV, TV Buddha, Global Groove, TV Guide and Sistine Chapel:

Video of Fish Flies on Sky by Kunstpalast Museum: 

Fish Flies on Sky

Video of Game Byter:


Paik’s nephew on his uncle’s approach to life, art and music:

Interview about Paik’s legacy:

Satellite Art: An Interview With Nam June Paik:

Reviews & Articles:

2019 Paik review:

Article on Paik at Tate Modern:

Nam June Paik: the ‘Techno Shaman of the Fluxus Collective’ (German):


Documentary on Paik: 


Current exhibition overview at SFMOMA:

Further Resources:

The Case for Video Art:

5 must-read books on Paik: