Nam June Paik Zen for TV 1963 (executed 1981)

  • Not on view

Paik was among the first artists to experiment with video and television as mediums for art. One of his earliest works, Zen for TV consists of a television set in which the picture on the screen has been collapsed into a single line. Paik spent months learning about the construction and components of televisions so that he could better rewire them to create unexpected results. He predicted that the cathode ray tube would replace the canvas, anticipating the incredibly rich and varied body of video art that exists today.

Gallery label from "Collection 1940s—1970s", 2019
Altered television set
overall: 22 13/16 x 16 15/16 x 14 3/16" (58 x 43 x 36 cm)
The Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus Collection Gift
Object number
© 2024 Nam June Paik
Drawings and Prints

Installation views

We have identified these works in the following photos from our exhibition history.

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].


If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].