Wednesday Bits: Paik/Gagosian, Mr. Fad

Nam June Paik estate exectutor, Ken Paik Hakuta, as Dr. Fad.
Nam June Paik estate exectutor, Ken Paik Hakuta, as Dr. Fad.

Gagosian Reps Paik
Yesterday Gagosian Gallery announced that they would be representing the estate of Nam June Paik worldwide. The gallery, working with the estate, will debut their new shepherdship in a show curated by the estate’s favorite scholar, family friend, and dedicated conservation master, John HanHardt. HanHardt helped establish Paik archives at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 2009—no small feat, as the famously inventive artist did not keep complete works but, rather, maintained a collection of parts (much like a box of Legos), which he would re-arrange and recycle for new works.

Fun Paik Estate Facts

The Paik estate executor, NJP nephew, Ken Paik Hakuta, was manager of the artist’s studio at the time of his death in 2006. He happens to be a very colorful character himself. Known as “Mr. Fad” Hakuta, a Harvard M.B.A., achieved and his nickname as the host of the Dr. Fad TV show which encouraged “young inventors” with fun projects. He is also the inventor of the Wacky Wallwalker, a sort of jello octopus that toppled down vertical surfaces, as well as a slew of cereal boxes toys.
In 1990 he began collecting Shaker furniture, eventually scoring the entirety of a world-class collection which came from a shaker community in Mount Lebanon, NY. The Mount Lebanon Collection was at the time, in the hands of a small co-ed boarding school, the Darrow School, which, suffering debt, sold the furniture—which was initially intended to go to Bill Cosby who is a Shaker fan as well—to Hakuta on the cheap in a hurried deal.

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