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Nam June Paik «TV-Buddha»
Nam June Paik, «TV-Buddha», 1974
© Nam June Paik

 Nam June Paik

Paik's possibly most famous video work was produced as a gap-filler for an empty wall in his fourth show in the Galeria Bonino, New York. Shortly before the opening, he hit upon the idea of making a TV viewer out of an antique Buddha statue once purchased as an investment. The subsequent addition of a video camera meant the Buddha now watched his videotaped image on the screen opposite – past and present gaze upon each other in an encounter between Oriental deity and Western media.
During the 'Projekt '74' exhibition in Cologne, Paik took the Buddha’s place in his recent creation, suggesting the implicit antithesis between transcendentalism and technology was equally present in his own personality.