Why Nam June Paik is more than ‘the father of video art’

Tate Modern’s retrospective of Korean-born artist Nam June Paik aims to go beyond his title as ‘the father of video art’ by showcasing his groundbreaking work that blurred the boundaries between tech and art and even predicted the internet

In 1963, artist Nam June Paik had his first solo exhibition. The show took place in a three-storey villa in Wuppertal, Germany and among the works was a room packed with 13 manipulated television sets. It was the first time an artist had used television as a medium for their art. 

For five decades, Paik built upon these TV experiments and continually bridged the gap between art and technology in a way no other artist had done before. While he’s often heralded as ‘the father of video art’, in Tate Modern’s latest retrospective of the artist, the institution suggests this label is a little reductive. Showcasing over 200 of the artist’s works, this is the first large-scale show of Paik’s work in London since 1988.