Artist: Nam June Paik
Title: Hamlet Robot, 1996
144 x 88 x 31 in. (365.8 x 223.5 x 78.7 cm)
Museum purchase and gift of Joan Dalis Martone, Fran and Lenox Baker, Mr. and Mrs. Macon Brock, Jr., Susan and Paul Hirschbiel, Renée and Paul Mansheim, and Robert McLanahan Smith III
© Nam June Paik, courtesy of Carl Solway Gallery, Inc.
The artist Nam June Paik was asked to make six robots of famous Danes, or people from Denmark. Hamlet Robot is inspired by a play written over 400 years ago by the famous English playwright William Shakespeare. The play is set in Denmark and tells the story of a young prince named Hamlet. Nam June Paik was born in Seoul, South Korea. His family left their home during the Korean War. They moved to Hong Kong and later to Tokyo, Japan. After studying in Japan, Paik moved to Germany, then to New York, where he followed his interest in music and television. He used TVs to make sculptures of famous people, his friends, and characters from stories and plays.