Award Citation

Mr. Nam June Paik is one of Asia's great artists who enjoys international recognition as the founder of a new field of art called 'video art'.

Having received training in piano and composition since his childhood, Mr. Paik studied musical aesthetics at the School of Aesthetics and Art History of the Faculty of Letters at the University of Tokyo. He then went to Germany to study contemporary music where he met John Cage, an avant-garde musician who brought a big change in Mr. Paik's life. Later, Mr. Paik joined the avant-garde group, Fluxus, and began to draw attention for a series of shocking performances he carried out with the objective of destroying existing art. When studying electric music, Mr. Paik was the first to notice the potential of TV images, the product of electronic technology, and held the world's first solo exhibition using this medium in 1963. This epoch-making form of art provided the model for future video art and demonstrated television's potential in becoming a new art medium.

Mr. Paik moved to the United States where he was assisted by the advance in video technology. He energetically groped for artistic possibilities in an attempt to promote new artistic expression for genuine art recognition. By making the most use of the Paik/Abe Video Synthesizer, a new video apparatus he had developed in collaboration with Shuya Abe, a Japanese engineer, Mr. Paik introduced a series of original video art with dazzling colors in kaleidoscopic form. This art work earned Mr. Paik high recognition. Mr. Paik has since become an unrivaled leader of Video Art, one of the novel and innovative fields of visual art. By the early 1980s, he was recognized as one of the world's leading artists and is revered as the 'Father of Video Art'.

Mr. Paik has stayed in the forefront of art by constantly creating new forms of art throughout the world. The video installation, an installation of pieces of small and large sized TV monitors in exhibition space, the video performance, which include actions expressed through television and video systems and satellite art, which links the world via satellite, are only a few examples of his creation. Mr. Paik's incessant creative activities have exerted great influence not only in art but in other fields, such as design, architecture, music and mass communications. At the same time, the world of Mr. Paik's new visual art suggests a novel possibility of artistic expression for the upcoming 21st Century.

Mr. Nam June Paik has introduced the excellence of Asian sense to the world by linking the latest technology with art while concurrently demonstrating oriental spirit which runs through the basis of his art. In this way, he has made great contributions to the promotion of art and culture and for this reason, Mr. Paik is an ideal candidate for receiving the Arts and Culture Prize of the Fukuoka Asian Cultural Prizes.