Shortlist 2015 Hong Kong
Samson Young is the first winner of the BMW Art Journey. His journey took the visual artist and composer to iconic bells on all five continents.
Samson Young’s project for the inaugural BMW Art Journey, titled “For Whom the Bell Tolls: A Journey Into the Sonic History of Conflict”, builds on the Hong Kong-based artist’s longstanding fascination with military technology and his training as a composer. In this project, he turned his attention to bells, which bring together two related areas of interest for the artist. Cannons and bells are made of essentially the same materials. In times of war, bells would be melted down to create cannons, and when peace returned, bells would be recast from surplus weapons.
“The auditory coverage of bells,” Young wrote in his proposal for the Art Journey, “defines territories, separating one community from another along cultural, religious, or ideological fault lines. Bells also connect individuals. When great care is taken in the tuning of bells, the purity of tone and fullness of volume become sources of collective pride.” For Samson Young, “A bell is a web of relations at a standstill.”
For his 2015 BMW Art Journey, Young undertook a worldwide tour of iconic bells, documenting them and creating works of visual art and music in response to them. As part of a longer, possibly lifelong project of inquiry, he focused on bells that embody notions of conflict in a variety of ways. He visited bells which would otherwise not be accessible to him because of their geographic remoteness or other limitations. His journey encompassed five continents and took him to bells and research institutions in Myanmar, Kenya, Austria, Cologne, Morocco, Sicily, South Korea, Australia, along with several cities in the United Kingdom and the United States.
When encountering each bell, the artist notated and recorded the sounds of these exceptional and historically resonant objects. Over the course of his journey, Young initiated an archive of bell recordings and an extensive series of “bell sound sketches.” He also began work on a set of new bronze bells as well as an original musical score for bell-ringers and orchestra.
SAMSON YOUNG WAS CHOSEN FROM A SHORTLIST OF THREE ARTISTS FROM THE DISCOVERIES SECTOR OF ART BASEL IN HONG KONG 2015.
Mika Tajima (b. 1975 in Los Angeles)
Mika Tajima, who currently lives and works in Brooklyn, employs painting, sculpture, textiles, video, sound and performance in her practice and draws on inherent contradictions in design, engineering, and architecture to consider the organization and experience of collective production. Tajima has exhibited widely in the last 10 years and her solo projects and commissions for institutions include the Swiss Institute, New York; The Kitchen, New York; Bass Museum of Art, Miami; Aspen Art Museum, Colorado; Seattle Art Museum; and Art in General, New York. For her 2016 Art Basel project, Tajima presents an all-encompassing installation of new works based on an idealized workspace and showroom. She is represented by Eleven Rivington in New York.
Trevor Yeung (b. 1988 in China) graduated from the Academy of Visual Arts at Hong Kong Baptist University in 2010 and now lives and works in Hong Kong.
He uses botanic ecology, horticulture, photography, and installations as metaphors that reference the emancipation of everyday aspirations towards human relationships. In 2014, Yeung participated in group exhibitions at Witte de With in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and at the Shanghai Biennale, China. In his presentation at Art Basel, Yeung will exhibit photography-based works from his series “Sleepy Bed” and “Enigma.” Yeung is represented by Blindspot Gallery in Hong Kong.
Samson Young (b. 1979, in Hong Kong) studied music, philosophy, and gender studies at the University of Sydney and holds a Ph.D. in music composition from Princeton
In 2013, he was named media artist of the year by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. Young participated in the Asia Triennial Manchester, in Manchester, UK; the Moscow Biennale of Young Art; and also in group exhibitions at the Kunsthalle in Winterthur, Switzerland; the Today Art Museum, Beijing; and the Taipei Contemporary Art Museum, Taiwan. In his Art Basel project “Pastoral Music,” presented by am space, Young combined his research into both Hong Kong’s involvement in the Second World War and artists’ roles in warfare in general in a setting that includes graphic musical scores and sound compositions. Young is represented by am space in Hong Kong.