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Buddha game



Nam June Paik

Korea, United States of America

20 Jul 1932 – 29 Jan 2006

  • Details

    Media categories
    Sculpture , Time-based art
    Materials used
    television set, pages from a printed book, 2 gold leaf wooden Buddhas, neon, antenna, 5 television monitors
    147.3 x 92.7 x 59.7 cm :

    a - cabinet, 135 x 92.7 x 59.7 cm

    b - antenna, 12.7 cm

    Signature & date

    Signed and dated on side of cabinet, paint 'Nam June Paik, 91'. Signed in Korean characters on side of cabinet, paint 'Nam June Paik.

    Purchased 2002
    South Building, lower level 1, Asian Lantern galleries
    Accession number
    © Nam June Paik Estate

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Nam June Paik

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Nam June Paik came to the attention of international audiences when he began working with Fluxus and in particular his musical collaborations with Joseph Beuys in the 1960s. He was first shown in Sydney in 1976 as part of a John Kaldor project with Charlotte Moorman with whom he also regularly performed.

    He has combined performative and musical aspects in his work while increasingly bringing in applications of new technology. He has been an international pioneer of video installation and is represented by such works in many of the world's most important museums.

    This work is a compact example that includes many of his consistent themes. The box that houses the work is a television cabinet within which he has miniature videos operating watched by two bronze Buddhas. Confronting the spiritual dimension of Buddhism with new technologies is a continuing aspect of the work. The space of the screen where so many people "meditate" every day is provocatively juxtaposed with the sublime attention of Buddhist meditation.

    The cabinet is covered with pages from an old Korean book making the modern exterior of the appliance seem strangely antique. This use of collage and found objects accords well with the Fluxus movement with which Paik is associated. The feel of this particular box suggests the work of Wolf Vostel for example.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 3 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 8 publications

  • Provenance

    Carl Solway Gallery, Cincinatti, 08 Feb 2002, United States of America

    Christie's London, 08 Feb 2002, London/England, purchased from the 'Contemporary Art' sale by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Feb 2022.

Other works by Nam June Paik

See all 9 works