Date: 7 October2008/ 3 November 2008
Artists: Young-hae Chang Heavy Industries
Country: South Korea
Title: Morning of the Mongoloids, 2008
In collaboration with The Globalised Crystal Ball we are proud to announce the tenth issue of Visual Foreign Correspondents. VFC is an independent platform in which 11 distinguished artists from around the world are invited each month to give their personal visual commentary on events and situations from their locally situated perspective. Their works especially created for urban screens and online platforms. This project will give people in the streets of Amsterdam a brief window into other regions, peoples and other kinds of imagination.
Young-hae Chang Heavy Industries is a duo composed of the Korean Young-hae Chang and the American Marc Voge living and working in Seoul. They combine text with jazz music in their flashy Flash productions. Herein they use solely the Monaco font and are breaking with this the Internet rules of interactivity, photo’s, illustrations and excessive use of colours. They bombard language as the essence of the Internet. Young-hae Chang Heavy Industries has found a way to generate attention for the story and forces the reader almost to reading the texts. The constant flow of words has got a physical hypnotising effect. The mostly black or white lettering comes at different speeds, sometimes slowly and easy to follow and then incredibly fast, almost impossible to keep track. The size of the lettering, the way it has been organized on the screen, and the speed at which the text comes by, change all the time and is connected to the story (telling) and the music. The stories vary from daily occurrences to politically hinting texts on sex.
The work of Young-hae Chang Heavy Industries is clearly related to cinema and poetry. The reference to film is visible in the fact that all their text pieces consequently start with the line: ‘Young-hae Chang Heavy Industries presents’, and after that the counting down from ten to one comes in as in the early cinema. But next to film and (Internet) poetry their work exists on the border of digital animation, experimental video and film graphics.
For VFC Young-hae Chang Heavy Industries came up with ‘MORNING OF THE MONGOLOIDS’, that is about a man getting up one morning as a changed person. It is the hilarious, tragic and ironical story of a white man who wakes up with a hangover after a night of partying in somebody else his skin. Slowly he finds out, without any logical reason for this, that he looks Korean, speaks Korean and lives in Seoul. With this work the artists do not display their own vision on the local environment, but are eventually holding a mirror on us. Through the (Korean) view of Young-hae Chang Heavy Industries the westerners are being confronted with their biased views on Asian people. According to the duo the transformation of the man has something to do with our fears of the Other.
In 1999 the Korean artist Young-hae Chang, who has a Ph.D. in aesthetics from the University of Paris, and the American poet Marc Voge based in Seoul, met each other in a Net Art workshop in Australia. They focused on Flash during this workshop and by the second day they had learned how to make text appear on the screen and how to set this to music. At this moment they had found their medium and produce under the name Young-hae Chang Heavy Industries the characteristic fast, musical text pieces since that moment. They live and work in Seoul, South-Korea.
The work will be launched during the seminar event of the Globalised Crystal Ball in the conference space. An introduction to the work will be given, making a connection to the seminar and the ideas of the artist.
Independent from the seminar the work will then feature on the urban screen outside the ‘Balie’ every night for a month, on the The Contemporary Art Screen at the Zuidas Amsterdam and the Urban Screen Festival in Melbourne.
These screens will be in relationship to a specially designed website and ‘Oog’. The VFC website will show the work and contextualize it with political, social and cultural background information. Furthermore it will give information about the project and a possibility for the audience to interact.
The work will also feature in ‘OOG’, a commentary and opinion platform that is part the online edition of De Volkskrant, a major Dutch daily national newspaper. Here the work will feature for a week as part of the continuing series of artist commentaries.
De Balie: Kleine-Gartmanplantsoen 10, Amsterdam: www.debalie.nl
CASZ: Zuidplein, Amsterdam www.caszuidas.nl
Urban Screen Festival Melbourne: www.urbanscreens08.net
Visual Foreign Correspondents
Artistic director: Nanette Hoogslag
Editors: Annet Dekker, Petra Heck, David Garcia, Nat Muller and Eric Kluitenberg
For more information please contact Nanette Hoogslag at
Visual Foreign Correspondents is made possible by Amsterdamse Fonds voor de Kunsten, VSB, Prins Bernhardultuurfonds, De Balie en het Nederlands Instituut voor Mediakunst.