Nam June Paik’s Nephew Makes $1 Million Donation to Harvard Art Museums

The gift will enable the creation of the new Nam June Paik Fellowship.

Nam June Paik, Cello Memory (2002). © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Nam June Paik, Cello Memory (2002). Photo ©President and Fellows of Harvard College.

Ken Hakuta, the nephew of artist Nam June Paik, has made a $1 million gift to Harvard Art Museums to create the Nam June Paik Fellowship in memory of his uncle, who died in 2006.

“Nam June Paik was a real renaissance man. He was a global thinker, media visionary, composer, writer, video artist, painter, sculptor, performer, engineer, television producer, and much more; the research topics on Paik, including the conservation of Paik video art, are limitless,” said Hakuta, a Harvard Business School Graduate, of his uncle, a Korean who traveled, from Japan to West Germany, before becoming part of the Fluxus movement in the early 1960s.

The scholarship will expand research into the life, work, and influence of Paik over a two-year period per fellow.

The endowment also includes ten works by Paik to the Harvard Art Museums, adding to their collection of work by members of the Fluxus group, such as Joseph Beuys, and facilitating the study of his work by future fellows.

“I could not be more pleased that the Harvard Art Museums will be the center of Nam June Paik research for generations to come, working with other institutions globally with an interest in Paik and, most importantly, educating the next generation of scholars,” Hukata added.

“Ken’s generous support will lead to ground-breaking scholarship that will benefit students and scholars around the world,” said Martha Tedeschi, Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director of the Harvard Art Museums. “This transformative gift also strengthens our ongoing commitment to rigorous, original scholarship—an integral component of our teaching, learning, and research mission.”

Hakuta is an American inventor, toy designer, and is also known as the 80s TV personality Dr. Fad. He created some of the biggest selling toys of the 1980s including the Wacky Wall Walker, his business interests also include a herbal remedy called AllHerb.


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