Nam June Paik
Seoul, South Korea
Image courtesy Nam June Paik Estate
白南准，1932年生于韩国首尔，在首尔和香港度过了他的中学时代，在日本镰仓度过高中时光。他就读于东京大学美学专业，其毕业论文研究阿诺尔德·勋伯格（Arnold Schoenberg）。1956年，白南准移居德国，学习欧洲哲学和现代音乐，并积极展开了与当代前卫艺术家的合作。通过进行完全不同于当时的艺术规范和传统的激进现场表演，白南准塑造了其自身的艺术家身份。后来他又以新媒体为手段，走上一条新的艺术创作道路。他的媒体艺术成为其首次个展“对音乐的说明——电子电视”（Exposition of Music--Electronic Television）的核心，在其中，他将内部电路经过修改和操控的电视机作为艺术作品呈现出来。
Nam June Paik was born in Seoul, South Korea in 1932 and spent his middle school days in Seoul and Hong Kong, and his high-school days in Kamakura, Japan. He studied aesthetics in the University of Tokyo, with a graduation thesis on Arnold Schoenberg. Moving to Germany in 1956 and studying European philosophy and modern music, he came to work actively with contemporary avant-garde artists and began to carve out his artist-identity by doing radical performances which were completely different from artistic canons and conventions back then. Afterwards he pursued a novel path of art making by means of new media. His media art gained momentum by his first solo show Exposition of Music-Electronic Television in which he presented televisions with inner circuits modified and manipulated, as a work of art.
Paik is a pioneering media artist working with various technologies in creative and experimental ways. He saw the artist’s role as consisting in thinking about the future and sought for better ways of global communication through art. Regarded as “one of the forerunners of a new breed of artists who are scientists, philosophers and engineers at the same time” and as “a very special and genuine genius and futurologist with foresight” Paik still lives on with us right here as “the most contemporary artist” today.
image courtesy of Electronic Arts Intermix (EAL)(New York,USA)
Button Happening is Nam June Paik's earliest extant videotape, and possibly his first tape ever. Recorded in 1965 on the day he acquired his first Sony Portapak camera, this previously unknown work has been rediscovered and restored. Recorded on computer tape, this technically fragile piece documents a single performance action — Paik buttoning and unbuttoning his jacket. A spirit of conceptual Fluxus humor underlies this seminal recording.