Major exhibition of Nam June Paik, "father of video art," opens at Smithsonian in December 2012

The Smithsonian American Art Museum just announced a major exhibition of Nam June Paik, set to open December 13, 2012. “Nam June Paik: Global Visionary” will offer an "unprecedented view into the artist’s creative method" through key artworks and material drawn from the Nam June Paik Archive, acquired by the Smithsonian from the artist’s estate in 2009. Well worth a trip to DC, and required viewing for any of you who count yourself among the present generation of YouTube uploaders, Vimeo auteurs, and TwitVid self-surveillance sharers. This man's legacy is part of why video is a common medium for fine art and personal expression today. Snip:

Korean-born Paik (1932-2006), known as the “father of video art,” almost single-handedly transformed video into an artist’s medium through his sculptures, installations, videotapes and television projects. Paik is recognized worldwide for his innovative, media-based artwork that is grounded in the practices of avant-garde music and performance art. His art and ideas embodied a radical new vision for an art form that he knew would be embraced around the world and that would change visual culture.

PDF of the press release is here.

Image via Wikipedia (shot by Lim Young-kyun in 1983).



  1. His work managed to achieve both a deep personal expression and a trenchant social
    critique. As a person, he could be outrageously funny in a zen-like manner. A true original.

  2. There’s also an entire museum in Korea: .  I know the woman who did the T-shirts there (actually I think she did a lot of the graphics work).  

  3. My favorite college professor knew Paik, and thankfully introduced me to his work. I instantly become a fan of Paik. One of my favorite memories from the 90’s was getting to see the premiere of his huge installation show: “The Electronic Super Highway” in my hometown at the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art back in 1994. Years later after moving north, I got a chance to see his 2000 retrospective show at the Guggenheim – just overwhelming in its scope and impact. I look forward to taking my wife and children to the Smithsonian to see this exhibit when it opens. Everyone should be fortunate enough to have a chance to see his work in person.

  4. The Guggenheim had a retrospective of his work some time ago, and it was phenomenal.  I don’t have a reason to go to DC anytime soon, but this may be worth the trip all by itself. 

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