Paik Nam-June, video and performance artist, is considered 'The Father of Video Art' and a quintessential figure in the postmodern contemporary art. Along with John Cage and Joseph Beuys, Paik was part of the Fluxus movement in the 1960s. He worked mainly with video, incorporating visual imageries with music. His craving to humanise the object is a consistent thematic strand that links all his works together. Born and raised in Korea, studied in Japan and in Europe, then moved to the United States, Paik is conceivably the embodiment of 'interculturalism'.
Buddha King is a confrontation or amalgamation of Eastern philosophical and spiritual beliefs and Western technology. In Buddhism, raised left hand can refer to 'Varada Mudra', the gesture of benevolence and boon granting, representing one's wish to devote to human salvation from avarice and deception. This could be read as Paik's wish to emancipate human from media worship, reflecting society's obsession with the media and forcing us to reconsider the existentialism of television. Paik wished to decompose the device and remove its hex over humans. The interrelationship of the wooden Buddha and the monitors can be seen as a metaphor for epiphanies and transcendence of Buddhism verses the boisterous mind; traditional craftsmanship versus mass production, and the play between reality and illusion.
The piece shows poetic resonance while reminding one of Marcel Duchamp's playful seriousness. Paik's recreation of the electronic moving image, articulated the very nature of how art can communicate and bestow with artistic value of anything, and introduced a new art form to the late 20th century art.