young-hae chang heavy industries.

This article also appeared on Josh Spear

My mind is jumping right now, and the culprits are South Korean internet art collective Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries (YHCHI).

Taking Flash animation to a totally visceral level, their breakneck text-based works move so fast they look strobe-lit. Swinging from styles as diverse as gumshoe spy stories to sex-induced political upheaval (one of their most interesting works is called Cunnilingus in North Korea), the text drives the narrative while the original soundtrack and wordplay bring every mood to life without a single colour, voice, or picture.


Exploring the trove of work on their site, the constant visual and sonic barrage creates an almost physically hypnotic sensation. The relentless black and white lettering takes you on it’s own pace: sometimes you’re given time to take it in and sometimes it almost subliminally, Clockwork Orange-style, just speed flashes it’s meaning into your brain. Once stirred, it’s up to your imagination to complete the visual – instead of reading a book, it’s a lot like having one hurled into your face.

Their latest project, BLACK ON WHITE, GRAY ASCENDING, is a temporary installation in the lobby of the New Museum of Contemporary Art on New York City’s Bowery. This time they’ve upped the game from their regular one-screen format to a sensory-assaulting seven. Each separate story weaves together to tell different accounts of one violent abduction and assassination.

Like any worthwhile film noir, these are all best viewed alone in a dark room. But be forewarned, their site’s as addictive as whatever pill you’ll need to get to sleep once the thought-inducing onslaught is over.


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