Akeroyd Collection


Samson Young, The highway is like a lion's mouth (馬路如虎口), 2018

The highway is like a lion’s mouth is the approximate English translation of a familiar Hong Kong road safety slogan. Originating in a 1990s government-sponsored jingle, it educated children about the dangers of crossing the road. Using this as the work’s title, Samson Young ostensibly creates an updated but unlikely jingle that plays out as a digital surrealist music video. A plethora of visual tropes are deployed in mixed media and digital renderings; We see imagined television station idents, software interfaces, exploded diagrammatic drawings of cars, visual depictions of experience indexing and mapping, and avatars dancing and moving through digitally rendered environments. We see 3D-rendered roads colliding with printed imagery of street scenes which then dissolve into pov driving simulators, computer game aesthetics and corporate slogans. The music is ineffective as a jingle, distinctly un-catchy it draws on experimental electronica, Avant guard composition, minimal techno and musique concrete rather than memorable musical phrases and simplistic, repetitive structure. At odds with its supposed function to ingrain a safety instruction in the minds of viewers, the film instead questions how governments use mass media and advertising campaigns to regulate existing social norms or instigate new ones.

Medium4K single-channel video
Duration10 minutes 53 seconds
Editionof 3 + 1 AP