Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, Still from THE ART OF SLEEP, 2006. Photo: Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, M+ Museum Hong Kong.

Hong Kong’s M+ Museum Acquires Archive of Past and Future Works by Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries

M+, Hong Kong’s new museum of visual culture in the West Kowloon Cultural District, has acquired the complete body of work of Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, a digital artist duo based in Seoul. In addition to the more than five hundred existing text-based animations—which are accessible via the art collective’s website—installations, performances, and lecture drafts, the museum has acquired the rights to any future pieces produced by the artists for as long as they continue to make new work. 

Young-Hae Chang and American artist Marc Voge established Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries in 1999 and were among the first artists to use the internet as a platform for artistic experimentation. Their signature works comprise simple text-based computer animations that are synchronized with original music, a fusion of moving image art, music, poetry, graphic design, and web design. According to the museum, their complete archive will be accessible to M+ visitors and will be updated twice each year.

“Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries’ groundbreaking oeuvre is an excellent fit for M+,” deputy director and chief curator Doryun Chong said in a statement. “We are extremely proud to be investing in the life’s work of Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, the trailblazer of internet art. will function as a crucial anchor in the M+ Collections, and our commitment to their work is practiced through ongoing collaboration with the artists and caretaking of the archive that continues to grow.”

Commenting on the agreement with the museum, Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries said, “We’re lucky dogs.” The duo will perform their final artist talk, “The Artist Talk to End All Artist Talks or, the Struggle Session Continues!,” on August 31 at the JC Cube Auditorium in the Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts in Hong Kong. The lecture-performance will be followed by a discussion between the artists; Tobias Berger, head of arts at Tai Kwun; and Ulanda Blair, curator, moving image, at M+, and will kick off the symposium M+ Matters: Art and Design in the Digital Realm, which will hold events on August 31 and September 1.