Paik greatly influenced the art scene in the latter half of the 20th century, playing a critical role in lifting video into the realm of art.
Born in Seoul in 1932, Paik studied art history at Tokyo University, where he wrote his thesis on Modernist composer Arnold Schoenberg. He went to Germany to pursue his interest in avant-garde music and performance at Ludwig-Maximilians Universitaet, Munich. There, he collaborated with such artists as Joseph Beuys and met composer John Cage, whose ideas had a tremendous influence on his work.
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