Nam June Paik
(American/South Korean, 1932–2006) was a performance artist, video artist, musician, sculptor, and writer who spent most of his working life in Germany and the United States. From 1952 until 1956, Paik studied music and aesthetics at the University of Tokyo. Shortly thereafter, he moved to Munich and continued to study music at the Ludwig-Maximilians Universität. During the 1960s, Paik worked with the artist group known as Fluxus, for which he created performance pieces, experimental films and music. Paik collaborated with the composer John Cage
(American, 1912–1992) , with whom he developed a long-term friendship. In addition to composing and performing music, Paik experimented with television broadcasts, and is widely recognized as the first artist to utilize television and video for artistic expression. In 1964, Paik moved to New York and began a long collaborative relationship with cellist Charlotte Moorman
(American, 1933–1991). Despite his use of different media and his prolific body of work, Paik is best known for his video installations using television sets. Paik collected and modified old televisions, sometimes filling them with water and goldfish, candles, or assemblages of assorted objects; alternatively, Paik frequently kept the sets reasonably intact but changed the wiring and circuitry to alter the television''''s color and display. Many of these video works, which were displayed either in groups or individually, were exhibited in a 1963 show called Exposition of Music - Electronic Television
. Nam June Paik''''s works are currently included in public collections around the world, such as the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul, Korea, the Art Museum of the Americas in Washington, D.C., the Fukuoka Art Museum in Fukuoka, Japan, the Musée d''Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MN.