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Goodbye, “Mr. Video”

Posted January. 31, 2006 03:04,   


Paik Nam-june, a pioneer of video art and world-renowned video artist from Korea, died in the U.S. on January 29, local time. He was 74.

Paik’s family said the late artist died in the presence of his wife Shigeko Kubota and a nurse in his apartment in Miami, Florida at around 8:00 p.m.

Paik’s nephew and manager Ken Paik Hakuda said Paik died of “natural causes.” Paik had been ill since suffering paralysis in 1996.

Paik’s funeral will take place at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel in Manhattan, New York. The date of the funeral has yet to be confirmed.

Paik is called “the Michelangelo of electronic art” and is considered a pioneer of video art. On top of being a video artist, Paik was also a pioneer in multi-media art, an avant-garde artist, and a composer. He has been widely known worldwide as an artist who broke new ground for the 20th century culture.

Paik was born in Seoul in 1932 and studied in Tokyo University and in Germany. Afterwards, he engaged in experimental art in Europe and the U.S. In particular, in 1963, Paik held his first solo exhibition, “Exposition of Music – Electronic Television” and won acclaim from the global art community as the creator of video art.

Paik continued working even after the left half of his body was paralyzed from a stroke. In October 2004, he performed “Meta 911” in Manhattan as a tribute to the victims of 9/11. This was Paik’s first performance since his illness.

In 1977, he married Kubota, a Japanese video artist. The couple does not have any children.

Jong sik Kong kong@donga.com mskoh119@donga.com