Nam June Paik


Born in 1932 in Seoul (South Korea), died in 2006


Foot Switch Experiment, 1963-1995

Horizontal Egg Roll TV, 1963-1995

Vertical Roll TV, 1963-1995

Zen for TV, 1963-1995

Magnet TV, 1963-1995

TV Experiment (mixed Microphones), 1963-1995

Virgin-Vierge (écran de télévision), 1971

From the early 1960s, Nam June Paik was interested in new means of communication and he attempted to create a new kind of painting by using electronic procedures. “Just as the technique of collage replaced oil painting”, he said in 1965, “the cathode-ray tube will replace the canvas”. In 1963, he created 13 “prepared” television sets for an exhibition entitled Music/Electronic Television.

In each of these, the path of the electrons was interrupted inside the cathode-ray tube, thus transforming the figurative images from one programme into abstract shapes. And so the art video was born. In 1965, Paik exhibited two works that were a primitive and humorous sort of staging of the principle of interactivity – which was to be developed considerably over the next decades.

30 years later, the curator of the 3rd Biennale de Lyon asked N.J. Paik if he would reconstruct these pioneering works, which had been lost during the 1960s, and he agreed to do so. Nine of them were acquired in 1997, thus providing the macLYON with a wonderful example of the beginnings of electronic art.


macLYON collection



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