YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES is yhchang.com. – a Seul-based team that consists of Marc Voge from the United States and Young-hae Chang from Korea. YHCHI have created their signature animated texts set to their own music in 21 languages so far. Their work has been shown at major art institutions around the world including the Tate Modern, Centre Pompidou, Whitney Museum of American Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the New Museum.

YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES were among the first artists to employ the internet as an artistic platform in the late 1990s. Their innovative video works, which can be viewed at www.yhchang.com, point towards a nexus of visual art and digital literature. Blurring the boundaries between media and cultural histories, YHCHI has gained international acclaim for their "net art" productions --mostly black-and-white videos of quickly flashing capitalized text in a generic font with synchronized music, often originally composed jazz.  Rather than emphasizing sophisticated uses of new technologies, YHCHI presents works that are directly engaging and effective, characterized by references to film and concrete poetry and by the scale and rapid pace at which the text appears.

YHCHI's work was shown in the 2003 Venice Biennial. Since receiving their 2001 Grants to Artists award, YHCHI were 2012-2013 Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Creative Arts Fellows.
YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES are the final artists to stay at the JCVA residency, which ran for thirty years. They stayed in Israel for three weeks over November of 2015, in Jerusalem at Mishkenot Sha'ananim, and in Tel Aviv in an apartment. They visited the Old City of Jerusalem, Yad Vashem, as well as galleries, museums, eateries, malls and shopping centers, where they indulged their interest in local consumer and culinary culture.

In Jerusalem, they presented their work at the Hansen House to an audience of dozens of art aficionados, as well as teachers and students at the Bezalel MFA program and Bezalel Master in Policy & Theory of the Arts.  Their piece, The Last Drop of Pomegranate Juice Is Ours, made especially for the conclusion of the JCVA, was shown for two weeks in Jerusalem at the Hansen House and in the Bezalel MFA Program in Tel Aviv.  A second work summarizing their stay was completed shortly after they left Israel (link).

The Last Drop of Pomegranate Juice Is Ours, 2015

Video, Heb., Eng. (9:29 min.)

In their most recent and most important work to date (according to the artists) YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES created a piece marking the end of the JCVA Residency program.  Nirith Nelson, the artistic director of the residency for the last 14 years broke with the program's approach -- which did not require artists to generate work during their stay – and asked the residency's final guests to create a piece about the countdown of an art project moving towards its conclusion.

In this work, YHCHI employ the three elements that always characterize their productions: rapidly moving, black and white typographical text in a single font (Monaco), a moving background (such as videos they have filmed and edited), and jazz music. The screen size is fixed, and font size shifts and fills the screen in a changing, hypnotic pulsation that generates the effect of advertising.  This is no accident; the medium is the message, and the artists are consciously engaged with consumer culture – its varying layers, zones (shopping malls) and characteristics. YHCHI's tactics can be seen as a way to break the code of the present, post-TV generation, wherein consumerism overtakes every sphere, including art.  Here speed and the beat create a tension that keeps the spectator hooked into the ever-flickering "now," alert in search for the message behind the rhythmically flashing words.  Each word's meaning and weight is meted out through the duration of its appearance, its size and its relation to the words around it.  As the words pulsate, the reader/viewer is placed in a new, not entirely comfortable position, somewhere between that of a passive receiver, and an active viewer who must keep up the pace (of life, of the present) if s/he is to experience the work.  YHCHI engage us with the way we read, control the way we read, dictate to us how to read.  Words – so central to these works -- are visual objects, and yet all the more elusive.

In the work, which can also be thought of as contemporary poetry/ web poetics, subject-matter follows subject-matter and the connections may be linear or merely hinted at, but this is no stream of consciousness; rather it is the voice of an evolved and firm critical consciousness that uses humor, ambiguity, sarcasm and cynicism.  The artists relate to their art as a function of privilege, and while they honor the framework that requisitions the work, they critique and subvert that framework's significance at every opportunity.  This works in tandem with their focus on words and their etymologies on the one hand, and their readiness to negate their meanings on the other.
In this piece, YHCHI speak of "squeezing the last drop of pomegranate juice," a tangible and complex image using a local fruit and a widely-recognized symbol. They also refer to Ezra Pound, the father of Imagism, and an emblem of a politically wrong-headed artist, as an example of art taking itself too seriously. The pomegranate often stood for plenitude, but here, with the focus on squeezing the last drop, the artists direct our attention to the poetic and cruel moment when its richness comes to a finish.  They assert that they enjoy squeezing the last drop (of the JCVA, or perhaps the art world in general).  They are grateful for the chance to claim a bit more of the juice in a world that sanctifies the present, the subjective, and the self, and testify to their own schadenfreude (pleasure derived from someone else's misfortune) at being the last to gain from an abundance that is soon to be extinct.

Diary of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv Residency: Death, Judgment, and the Final Destiny of the Soul and of Humankind; Or, Enjoy the Moment,

Video, Eng. (6.22 min.)

The journey log, a creation that summarizes YHCHI's stay at the JCVA residency, is a pop art-style piece that moves humorously between the expected clichés and spiritual notions that a summary of a visit to the Holy Land brings to mind, and the artists' culinary experiences. The work's long title traverses the past and the unknown future, referencing religion, faith and possibly war, and ends up in the most immediate present: the moment.  The artists have used the phrase "enjoy the moment," before; here they found it in an unexpected location: printed on a plastic cup at the cafeteria at Yad Vashem, Israel's venerable Holocaust museum. The text of the log is a kind of poem, a reported in meter from a visit to a foreign country, the kind one might send on a postcard.  At another level, the video offers a precise social and cultural analysis – of the country as well as of tourism in general, and of the artists themselves as they travel.  We encounter a long and detailed list of foods consumed by the visitors – whether local, highly influenced by other cultures, replicating other cultures and international – as well as a (very few) religious sites and equally negligible artistic destinations.
Random weather changes and random encounters, such as one with a woman soldier, affect the tourists' plans, but it is the food that organizes their memory, and through which more refined observations are filtered.  The report is simultaneously warm and cool, and at all times funny.

YHCHI 's textual report of this journey is offered with unexpected visuals that have nothing to do with Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, or any images thereof.  The text appears superimposed on filmed footage from the artists' train ride through a snowy countryside, their next journey in an entirely different country.  In a characteristically optimistic turn, for YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES, the end of one journey is the beginning of another, new one.