The Harvard Art Museums have received a $1 million gift from Harvard Business School alumnus Ken Hakuta, M.B.A. ’77, to establish the Hakuta Family Endowment Fund, enabling the creation of the Nam June Paik Fellowship at the Harvard Art Museums. Hakuta is the nephew of major mid-20th-century artist Nam June Paik, a pioneer in video art.
The two-year fellowship will expand knowledge about the artist, his work, and influences. The scholarship and research undertaken by Nam June Paik Fellows will examine Paik’s pivotal contributions to the ideas and language of visual expression and how they profoundly influenced generations of artists worldwide, including Joseph Beuys and the Fluxus group, with whom the artist engaged deeply and whose work is strongly represented in the Harvard Art Museums collections. The gift also includes approximately 10 works of art by Paik, making the museums an important repository of his work for exhibition, study, and research. These works, together with the museums’ rich holdings of works by Beuys and the Fluxus group, will foster new curatorial, educational, and conservation perspectives on artists from the 1960s.
“Ken Hakuta is dedicated to the legacy of his uncle, Nam June Paik, and the important contributions he made to contemporary art. Ken’s generous support will lead to groundbreaking scholarship that will benefit students and scholars around the world,” said Martha Tedeschi, the 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.”
“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 Ken Hakuta. “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.”