Korean-American artist, Nam June Paik is considered to be the first video artist and his work has been shown in museums and galleries around the world. He was a visionary and he basically brought Television and Video into art and stressed that they weren’t sculpture, nor paintings but ‘Time art’. He understood the power and significance of the media and television in particular. He was actually the first person to use he phrase ‘electronic superhighway’ and predicted the internet age.
Perhaps his most notable piece of work, and one of my favourite installations, TV Buddha (1976) shows an antique Buddha statue opposite a small camera and video monitor on a closed circuit camera, capturing an encounter between the Western Technological Media-orientated world and Oriental deity. TV Buddha was a last minute addition to his fourth show in New York and was simply produced to fill the gap on an empty wall.
The piece raises questions about self perception as well as the relationship between the past and the present, ever evolving technology society depends so highly on.
His ability to so effortlessly blend media forms with art and to have a complete disregard for language barriers leads to thought provoking, creative pieces that have left a significant imprint on the world even after his death in 2006.