Nam June Paik Learn about NAM JUNE PAIK (1932-2006) artist,their past and upcoming works offered at auction at Christie's

Born in 1932 in Seoul, Paik fled from the Korean War to Hong Kong and later to Japan in 1950, where he attended the University of Tokyo. Paik studied art history and music composition.  After his graduation in 1956, he traveled to Europe to further his studies in music history and composition at Munich University and the Freiburg Conservatory.  It was in Germany where he met John Cage in 1958, the great American experimental composer, and became actively involved in the anarchic avant-garde Fluxus art movement famed for legendary performances in art, music, film and media throughout Europe.  In the late 1950s, Paik began expressing his interest in new technology and the possibilities of transforming the television into an artistic instrument.  The artist settled in New York in 1964, and was among the first to respond to portable video equipment and absorb new technology.  His works often feature collaborations with famous artists and performers such as Merce Cunningham, Josef Beuys, Laurie Anderson and David Bowie.  Significant exhibitions include “Nam June Paik - Mostly Video” at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum in 1984, the travelling exhibition “Nam June Paik” organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art which toured from 1990-1992, and another travelling exhibition, “The Electronic  Super Highway: Travels with Nam June Paik” organized by the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art from 1995-1998.  Paik was the representative for Korea in the 48th Venice Biennale in 1993, and has created installation works at the Paris Pompidou Centre, the 1998 Seoul Olympic Games and the Guggenheim Museum in Spain and Germany. Paik’s significance in the development of contemporary art can be reflected by the numerous retrospectives of his work that have been organized by major art institutions, including the Paris Museum of Modern Art in 1978-1979, the Whitney Museum and the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art in 1982, and the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 2000.  He has also received awards from the Guggenheim Museum, the Rockefeller Foundation, the American Film Institute, UNESCO Picasso Medal and in 1993, he was granted the prestigious Gold Lion award for best pavilion at the 45th Venice Biennale.  Paik’s death in January of 2006 stirred much grief across the contemporary field. There are numerous memorial events still opening all around the world, including at the Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art, Guggenheim Museum in New York, Leeum Museum, Korea and Kunst Museum Bochum, Bochum (2006), National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea and Fundacion Telefonica, Madrid (2007), more recently; “Good morning, Mr. Nam June Paik”, Korean Cultural Centre UK (2008); 2nd memorial exhibition of his death, Gallery Korea, New York (2008). Dedicated in exhibiting the current legacy of Paik with consciously curated exhibitions that include various new media artists to narrate Paik’s influences, and also his effect on the new generation of artists, Nam June Paik Art Center was established in Yongin, Korea in 2008.   

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