Nam June Paik, Fluxus Island in Décollage Ocean, 1962, 1989, Silkscreen on cloth, 245 × 355 cm, Edition of 70 plus VI AP
Courtesy of Archivio Conz, Berlin
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The edition comprises three variations: thirty silkscreens on grey background; thirty silkscreens on beige background; and ten silkscreens at a larger scale on unbleached cotton.
  • Silkscreen on cloth
  • 245 × 355 cm
    (96 ½ × 139 ¾ inches)
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  • Nam June Paik was a Korean-born artist whose research was intrinsically connected to the technological potentials of video and television as emblems of advancing media culture and global language. Fleeing to Japan due to the Korean War, Paik graduated in aesthetics from the University of Tokyo in 1956. He then turned to music composition by participating in the International Summer Courses for New Music in Darmstadt and becoming acquainted with Karlheinz Stockhausen and John Cage. In the early 1960s, while Germany was in a great cultural buzz, Paik met Joseph Beuys and Wolf Vostell, as well as especially George Maciunas, through whom he became significantly involved with Fluxus activities. From the fundamental influence of Cage in aleatory, open-ended compositions to the manipulation of audiotapes, Paik shifted in an unprecedented direction by presenting for the first time installations involving altered television sets at Galerie Parnass in Wuppertal in 1963. After settling in New York in 1964, he developed increasingly complex artistic modalities using advanced portable video cameras and video manipulations. He collaborated with the cellist Charlotte Moorman; for her and with her, Paik created his most notorious and transgressive performances, such as Opera Sextronique (1967) and TV Bra for Living Sculpture (1969). From his collaboration with the engineer Shuya Abe, Paik developed a unique color video synthesizer to combine and operate moving images from different sources, creating some of his most famous installations, such as TV Garden (1973) and TV Buddha (1974). Paik also redefined broadcast television through satellite transmissions, as in Good Morning, Mr. Orwell, which aired live on New Year’s Eve 1984 in America, France, and South Korea, featuring Cage, Salvador Dalí, Laurie Anderson, Merce Cunningham, and Allen Ginsberg. Paik’s career abounds with significant commissions and awards, such as the Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy (1998) and the Lifetime Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award from the International Sculpture Center in Hamilton, New Jersey (2001). Major retrospectives of Paik’s work have been held at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1989), the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul (1992), and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York (2000). His works have been included in international exhibitions such as the Whitney Biennial, documenta, and the Biennale di Venezia. Paik’s archive is now preserved at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C.

Artworks (3)