Discipline: Visual Art

Nam June Paik

Discipline: Visual Art
Region: New York, NY

Edward MacDowell Medalist: 2004

Nam June Paik (1932-2006) was a Korean American artist considered to be the father of video art. In 1950, Paik and his family had to flee from their home in Korea during the Korean War. His family first fled to Hong Kong, but later moved to Japan. Six years later, he graduated from the University of Tokyo where he wrote a thesis on the composer Arnold Schoenberg. Paik then moved to West Germany to study music history with composer Thrasybulos Georgiades at Munich University. While studying in Germany, Paik met the composers Karlheinz Stockhausen and John Cage and the conceptual artists George Maciunas, Joseph Beuys, and Wolf Vostell and from 1962, was a member of the Neo-Dada art movement Fluxus.

As a pioneer of video art, the artwork and ideas of Nam June Paik were a major influence on late 20th-century art and continue to inspire a new generation of artists. Contemporary artists considered to be influenced by Paik include Christian Marclay, Jon Kessler, Cory Arcangel, Ryan Trecartin, and Haroon Mirza.