1 November 2012

YOUNG HAE-CHANGE HEAVY INDUSTRIES are Young-Hae Chang and Marc Voge, a partnership of digital artists based in Seoul, who have made Web art in 20 different languages. Combining jazz with text to create Flash pieces, the duo work in a form that cuts across video art, digital animation and e-poetry. Playing with concepts of art and the image of the 'life of the artist', their work takes a witty and light-hearted approach to big concepts, challenging the viewer to come along for the ride.

In one piece, So So Soulful, YHCHI present a re-telling of an everyday conversation between a couple, one proposing an escape to Detroit to connect with the roots of Motown and Soul, the other dismissive and irritated. Set to a soulful original soundtrack and imposed on a garish rainbow background, this glib conversation is a rather cute and funny sketch of clich├ęd longing for the romantic life of fulfillment and inspiration.

YHCHI's distinct style is derived out of a great confidence in knowing what they're interested in and what they're not, as well as having the freedom of an undiluted product, produced by two artists sitting "in front of their computers side by side on the floor of our tiny pre-World War II Japanese house in Seoul and [trying] to ignore each other". Read more in their Iowa Review interview.

YHCHI have also given interviews to Art Review and dichtung-digital.

While YHCHI are web artists, their particular style shuns many conventions of that form, defying viewer expectations with the distinct absence of graphics, animation and interactivity. The element of user-control is disrupted and we are put in the precarious position of giving over to the unknown. In the context of a body of work with the specific intention of a web platform, that is, specifically to be viewed on a personal computer or mobile device, this is a particularly unusual and arresting technique. Even YHCHI's website is devised with a minimal capacity for interaction, merely functioning as a list of their works, which once chosen cannot be navigated through as a media file but rather play of their own accord in the web browser. 

See YHCHI's new three-minute film WARNING: READING THIS MAY OR MAY NOT CHANGE YOUR LIFE broadcast on Channel 4 tonight at 11.05pm. Find out more about the 25 films co-commissioned by FACT for Random Acts.