Download a PDF copy of this Press Release: Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries Presents: So You Made It. What Do You Know. Congratulations and Welcome!
San Francisco, June 14, 2017 — You settle into your seat and screens begin to flash, visual alarm bells blaring in all capital letters. Warnings? Distress signals? Mating calls? From July 7 to October 1, 2017, the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco invites visitors to decide for themselves with the video installation Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries Presents: So You Made It. What Do You Know. Congratulations and Welcome!
Founded in 1998 and working out of Seoul, Korea,Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries (YHCHI) is a collaboration between CEO Young-Hae Chang (born in Korea) and CIO Marc Voge (born in the United States). YHCHI is best known for its internet-based Flash-animation texts — monologues in the stealthy guise of dialogues — set to original jazz-infused compositions. So You Made It is an hour-long presentation of seven of YHCHI’s recent works that straddle the intersection of art and what’s been called “electronic literature.”
The exhibition includes the world premiere of So You Made It. What Do You Know. Congratulations and Welcome! (2016), along with the North American premiers of several other works, including Please Mistake Me for Nobody (2017) and Bust Down the Door! (2004/2016). The animations will be played in a continuous loop beginning on the hour in the Asian Art Museum’s first-floor Osher Gallery. Tickets to the summer special exhibition, Flower Power, will also allow visitors access to this gallery.
“Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries draws you in with compelling stories, but then things start to unravel,” says exhibition organizer and Senior Educator of Contemporary Art Marc Mayer. “Exploring how uncertainty characterizes so much of life today is a huge motivating factor for this exhibition.”
This uncertainty threads through the works featured in So You Made It, in particular the animation that lends its title to the exhibition. Like so much of YHCHI’s output, this work quickly steers us from relief to anxiety. “The good news is that you’ll no longer need to fear for your life,” YHCHI informs us. “The bad news is that life will be fearsome tough.”
Part of the power of these works is that YHCHI speaks directly to us. The seven works in this exhibition give voice to diverse personal narratives— from quitting our jobs to living life on the edge (Change Your Career, 2010/2017) to the dread of being profiled and detained (Bust Down The Door!, 2004/2016) because the authorities mistake us for someone/something else (Please Mistake Me For Nobody, 2017). Is this what we want from art? Why might it trigger our anxieties and deep neuroses? What makes these artworks feel so timely, even urgent?
YHCHI unpacks complex issues — xenophobia, racism, power, equality, freedom — by focusing on events that seem ripped from daily headlines, nightly news segments or the constant stream on social media. But it’s the unseen humanity that emerges from these works, the sustained tone of YHCHI’s observations, that forges a connection with the viewer. And this connection gives viewers the space to imagine alternate possibilities: from a Palestinian astronaut on her way to colonize Mars (Wa’ad, 2014), to the struggle for sex, love, equality and the freedom to enjoy all the above (The Struggle Continues) or even the chance of redemption at the hands of a border agent (Ah, 2008).
YHCHI makes the majority of its work freely and publicly accessible on its website, www.yhchang.com.
YHCHI’s work has been shown at The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Tate Modern, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; The Getty Center, Los Angeles; Venice Biennial; Fukuoka Asian Art Triennial; São Paulo Biennial; and the Istanbul Biennial. In 2001, the group was awarded a grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts’ Grants to Artists. YHCHI’s Black on White, Gray Ascending, a seven-channel installation, was one of the inaugural exhibitions for the re-opening of the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, in 2007.
“We felt it was important to show these provocative works in conjunction with the museum’s major summer exhibition, Flower Power, which features contemporary installations alongside historic masterpieces from our collection,” says Asian Art Museum Director Jay Xu. “The issues Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries tackles in its work connect in many ways with the living spirit of the Summer of Love, whose 50th anniversary we’re celebrating: themes of community, togetherness, a sense of belonging to a larger purpose.”
Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries Presents: So You Made It. What Do You Know. Congratulations and Welcome! is organized by the Asian Art Museum. Presentation at the Asian Art Museum is made possible with the generous support of Gorretti Lo Lui.
The Asian Art Museum–Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture is one of San Francisco’s premier arts institutions and home to a world-renowned collection of more than 18,000 Asian art treasures from throughout Asia spanning 6,000 years of history. Through rich art experiences, centered on historic and contemporary artworks, the Asian Art Museum unlocks the past for visitors, bringing it to life while serving as a catalyst for new art, new creativity and new thinking.
Exhibition Hours:Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 AM to 5 PM. Open until 9 PM on Thursday and Fridays through September 29, 2017. Closed Mondays.
Exhibition Admission: FREE for museum members and children (12 & under). On weekdays, $20 for adults and $15 for seniors (65 & over), youth (13–17) and college students (with ID). On weekends, $25 for adults and $20 for seniors (65 & over), youth (13–17) and college students (with ID). On Target First Free Sundays admission to the exhibition is $10.
General Museum Admission: FREE for museum members, $15 for adults, $10 for seniors (65+), college students with ID, and youth (13–17). FREE for children under 12 and SFUSD students with ID. General admission is FREE to all on Target First Free Sundays (the first Sunday of every month).
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