Nam June Paik (July 20, 1932 in South Korea - January 29, 2006) was a Korean American artist, particularly noted for his video art.
Paik studied music history, art history, and philosophy at the University of Tokyo, where he graduated with a dissertation on Arnold Schoenberg. He went to Germany in 1956 to continue the study of music history at the University of Munich. In Germany he met composers Karlheinz Stockhausen and John Cage, who inspired Paik to go into electronic art. Paik worked with Stockhausen in a studio for Electronic Music. He also became involved with the post neo-Dada art movement Fluxus, founded by George Maciunas. He was a frequent collaborator with cellist Charlotte Moorman.
He began working with modified television sets in 1963 and bought his first video camera in 1965, returning to Japan to conduct experiments with electromagnets and color television alongside electronic engineer Shuya Abe. With Abe he constructed his first video synthesizer while artist-in-residence at WGBH, the Boston public broadcaster. He was known for using rapid cuts and fast motion in his videos. He also claimed to have coined the term "information superhighway" in a paper written in 1974.
He will be remembered as a founding father of video art and will continue to influence the younger generation of artists. A space rock music group known as Paik is named in his honour.
"Art is just fraud. You just have to do something nobody else has done before", he famously declared during an interview with a Korean newspaper, and this has now become a popular quote.
He died on January 29, 2006, at his apartment in Miami, Florida, of natural causes.