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MADA Art Forum: Samson Young

Friday 24 April 2020, pre-recorded talk

In this pre-recorded talk for MADA’s Art Forum series, Hong Kong artist and composer Samson Young introduces his first major Australian solo exhibition Real Music, scheduled to open at MUMA in 2020.

A joint project by MUMA and the Talbot Rice Gallery at the University of Edinburgh, Real Music includes two specially commissioned works. Young recently undertook a collaboration with the University of Edinburgh’s Next Generation Sound Synthesis (NESS) research group that culminated in Possible Music #2, 2019. Possible Music #2 is a sixteen-channel sound garden that bends the rules of both music and sculpture, and draws on systems that model and predict how a virtual instrument would sound in a specific environment (what would a brass instrument sound like played at  three hundred–degrees Celsius?).

The World Falls Apart into Facts, 2019, is a two-channel video based on the artist's research into two musico-cultural curiosities—the popular Chinese folk song Molihua (Jasmine Flower) and Japanese Togaku court music—as well as the phenomenon of ‘tourist instruments’. Together with new drawings, the exhibition also presents, Muted Situations #22: Muted Tchaikovsky’s 5th, 2018, the latest in a series of video installations that Young has produced since 2014, in which an orchestra performs on ‘muted’ instruments.

Samson Young is an artist and composer known for works that push disciplinary, material, cultural and musical boundaries. Colliding histories and traditions meet in richly associative performances, videos, installations, sculptures and drawings generated from the artist’s research, fieldwork and speculation. With a focus on revealing what is hidden or less known, Young creates work that is transformative not only for audiences but also for the disciplines of art and music themselves. His musically informed, political and award-winning work has been seen and experienced in solo and group exhibitions and at festivals worldwide.

Image: Samson Young, The World Falls Apart into Facts, 2019 (production still). Photo: Lily Yiyi Chan