Nam June Paik Tate Liverpool exhibition banner

Introduction

Media artist, performance artist, composer and visionary, Nam June Paik (1932–2006) was one of the most innovative artists of the twentieth century. Tate Liverpool presents the first major retrospective since the artist’s death, and the first UK exhibition of his work since 1988.

At Tate Liverpool, the first part of this dual-venue exhibition showcases around ninety works from all phases of Paik’s career, many shown in the UK for the first time, alongside documentary materials from his performances and early exhibitions.

The show celebrates Paik as the inventor of media art. At a time when television was still a novelty, Paik foresaw the future popularity of this new and exciting medium. Thought-provoking works such as TV Buddha 1989 explore cultural clashes between East and West, old and new, while Video Fish 1979–92, which features live fish alongside television sets, juxtaposes the natural and the technological.

Ranging from his early music performances and his involvement in the Fluxus movement to TV works, robot sculptures and large-scale video installations, Tate Liverpool’s exhibition takes a definitive look at Paik’s entire body of work.

The exhibition continues at FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology). Focusing on Paik’s innovative use of technology, FACT will showcase the major installation Laser Cone 1998, alongside sixteen single-channel video works, including Global Groove 1973 and groundbreaking satellite videos Good Morning, Mr. Orwell 1984 and Bye Bye Kipling 1986. Nam June Paik is initiated and developed by Tate Liverpool and museum kunst palast, Düsseldorf, curated by Sook-Kyung Lee and Susanne Rennert. The exhibition is presented in Liverpool by Tate Liverpool in collaboration with FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology).