“SAMSUNG” by Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries is a Flash narrative that gives insight on the routine of living, the inevitable reality of death, and how love may be able to help coping with a pessimistic mindset. The literal translation of Samsung from Korean is “Three Star”— the “three” or “sam-” signifying something big, numerous, and powerful, while “star” or “-sung” means “eternal”. The narrative states Samsung means “love”. This association reveals the author’s view that although everyone dies one day, love lives on strong. Nothing can take away that feeling you once had or still have.
Marc Voge and Young-hae Chang, the two artists from Seoul that make up Heavy Industries stuck with their usual mode of presentation through flash video. The narrative starts with the signature Heavy Industries countdown, then screen goes blue, and “Samsung” zooms in with a distinctly red font. Tranquil piano music plays in the background while the slides of the video change on beat. Throughout the video, it seems as if the author is talking to the reader directly— even asking “Still, can I confide in you?” and proceeding with “Thanks” as though the permission to go ahead was understood through the computer.
The only word to appear in any color other than black was “Samsung”, adding emphasis on the word to make sure the reader knew “Samsung” was the only thing that mattered. The video started off with a rather depressing image of a man who found no meaning to his life and work, doting over the thought of dying, or rather, just not existing. He asks the reader to picture nothingness— oblivion. Without even the black darkness we see when we close our eyes, or the rush of life-giving blood through our capillaries we hear when not another soul makes a peep. While obsessing over this thought, the author throws in some dark humor comparing his life to the incessant chattering of Ahjuma (housewives) — refusing to end in a timely manner. “What’s the use?”, he asks, “Everything and everybody ends up as dust. Or fluids to the sea.” The use— the greatest living ability, as he soon reveals— is love.
This work causes the reader to question, “Without love, what are we? Beings following the natural cycle of life, only to become irrelevant with death? We might as well be a rock for all the good we do.” But the ability to love gives us goals, happiness, accomplishment, comradery, family, etc. Essentially, love gives us life. The author says, “I believe Samsung will help me get over being dead/And being alive.” Only after that does he proceed to give his interpretation of the word “Samsung”, and immediately after that, he says “Amour”. Amour, in English, means a secret love affair, while in its native French, it simply means love. Either meaning could be interpreted as the author saying every aspect of his life is touched by Samsung’s sweet hand, and he doesn’t believe that influence will ever leave as evidenced by the ending ,“The end/But wait, not so fast…/For Samsung/Has no end.”
Another Heavy Industries’ work called “Samsung means to come” is about how a housewife is searching for how Samsung can make her “come” (orgasm), but it never says what Samsung means. In conjunction with “SAMSUNG” though, Heavy Industries shows a consistency of what they take Samsung to mean. There are also many parallels, as both stories are about people who are missing something from their lives, either it be purpose or happiness.
“Samsung” is a thought-provoking piece of work that speaks on the nature of life and love. It challenges the reader to ask themselves, “What’s the use?” and it deafeningly answers “SAMSUNG”.
Parts of this entry are cited from “The hidden meaning behind the names of tech giants: what does Samsung mean?” by Victor H. (http://www.phonearena.com/news/The-hidden-meaning-behind-the-names-of-te...) and “Samsung means to come” by Heavy Industries (http://www.yhchang.com/SAMSUNG_MEANS_TO_COME.html)