Nam June Paik


Nam June Paik (Korean: 백남준; RR: Baek Nam-jun; July 20, 1932 – January 29, 2006) was a Korean artist. He worked with a variety of media and is considered to be the founder of video art. He is credited with the first use (1974) of the term "electronic super highway" to describe the future of telecommunications.

Born in Seoul to a wealthy business family, Paik trained as a classical musician, spending time in Japan and West Germany, where he joined the Fluxus collective and developed a friendship with experimental composer John Cage. He moved to New York City in 1964 and began working with cellist Charlotte Moorman to create performance art. Soon after, he began to incorporate televisions and video tape recorders into his work, acquiring growing fame. A stroke in 1996 left him partially paralyzed for the last decade of his life.

Wikidata identifier


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Paik is known for his sculpture and installations employing television sets, video screens and junk assemblage, and is considered the inventor of video art. He began his career as a musician and wrote his thesis at Tokyo University on Arnold Shoenberg. He continued his studies in Munich and Freiburg, and gravitated to the avant-garde music scene in Cologne and Darmstadt, where he worked with Karlheinz Stockhausen. He met John Cage and began incorporating elements of what would become performance art into musical events, which led to an involvement with the Fluxus group. He exhibited the first known art work to incorporate television sets in 1963, and is perhaps most widely known for his collaborations with Charlotte Moorman, beginning in 1965, which resulted in the creation of his "TV Bra for Living Sculpture." He is credited with coining the phrase "electronic superhighway." Major retrospectives of his work were held at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1982, and the Guggenheim Museum in 2000.

Country of birth

South Korea


Artist, installation artist, miscellaneou, musician, performance artist, sculptor, teacher, video artist, writer

ULAN identifier



Nam June Paik, Naum June Paik

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Information from the Getty Research Institute's Union List of Artist Names ® (ULAN), made available under the ODC Attribution License. Accessed May 11, 2024.