Paik, acknowledged as the father of video art, uses the TV set as a metaphor for technology. He has said "I make technology ridiculous." Here he has drawn a spiky mountain ridge, perhaps the Diamond Mountains, with a moon overhead in a spontaneous, seemingly effortless style that recalls the work of Japanese Zen masters. He says he is not a follower of Zen but that he reacts to Zen in the same way he reacts to the music of Bach, which makes him feel something close to transcendence. His vacuum-molded TV monitors are the ultimate reduction of earlier video sculptures in which the image on the screen was virtually static.
Paik was born in Seoul, and came to New York in 1964 after studying and working in Japan and Germany. Many of his videotapes were produced in the 1970s while he was artist-in-residence at the Television Laboratory at WNET/Thirteen in New York. In 1982, the Whitney Museum of American Art honored him with a retrospective and in 1993 he had a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, Seoul. Since 1982 he has divided his time between New York, Dsseldorf and Wiesbaden. He represented Germany at the Biennale in Venice in 1993.