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b. 1979, SAR, China

Samson Young Biography

Samson Young's practice centres upon an attempt to re-present and re-interpret lost or overlooked events of socio-political and personal significance. Formally trained in philosophy and composition, Young approaches complex questions of identity and conflict, without imposing solutions or halting productive dialogue. The composer and sound artist's process is deeply invested in rigorous, historically grounded research that often involves Young gathering 'sound sketches' and recordings that eventually make their way into his multimedia works.

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Young has produced a new video and 12-channel sound installation, as part of his ongoing series 'Muted Situations', 2014-ongoing, on view as part of the 21st Biennale of Sydney. The series foregrounds the masked or unobserved moments that take place in our everyday experience. By consciously 'muting' the sonic foreground, the less-commonly noticed layers are revealed. Young has written a series of short instructional texts describing hypothetical situations, a few of which he has already staged, to draw attention to unnoticed sounds. Numbered from one to twenty-two, this expanding set of scenarios range from 'Muted Dance Party', 'Muted Non-Violent Protest' to 'Muted Taoist Funeral Ritual of Hell-breaking'.

In the latest iteration of the ongoing project, Muted Situation #22: Muted Tchaikovsky's 5th, 2018, Young invites the Flora Sinfonie Orchester in Cologne to perform Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony in its entirety. The orchestra, however, has been asked to 'mute' the musical notes, suppressing the pitched foreground layer of the composition, and bringing forth the sounds produced by physical actions in a performance - the musicians' focused breath, the turning of pages, or the clicking noises of the instruments' keys.

On the process of muting, Young writes: '... muting is not the same as doing nothing. Rather, the act of muting is an intensely focused re-imagination and re-construction of the auditory. It involves the conscious suppression of dominant voices, as a way to uncover the unheard and the marginalised, or to make apparent certain assumptions about hearing and sounding.' The process has the effect of disrupting the viewer's expectations; when the piercing shriek of a violin fails to come forth, it feels anticlimactic, ridiculous even. Young's situational experiments reveal what is suppressed, enabling us to become aware of another layer of reality underneath the noise.

Tai Spruyt and Stephanie Berlangieri | Biennale of Sydney Exhibition Team | 2018

Samson Young Featured Artworks

Otocky by Samson Young contemporary artwork
Samson YoungOtocky, 2019Colour pencil and watercolour on paper, suite of 15
26 x 18 cm
Experimenter Contact Gallery
Otocky by Samson Young contemporary artwork
Samson YoungOtocky, 2019Colour pencil and water colour on paper
Experimenter Contact Gallery
Ancillary Motion #9 for Tuba
(I am sorry if I woke you up this morning) by Samson Young contemporary artwork
Samson YoungAncillary Motion #9 for Tuba
(I am sorry if I woke you up this morning), 2019Colour pencil, pastel, and water colour on paper
102 x 67 cm
Experimenter Contact Gallery

Samson Young Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Samson Young, Available Forms at Experimenter, Ballygunge Place, Kolkata
Closed
27 November 2019–4 January 2020 Samson Young Available Forms ExperimenterBallygunge Place
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Show, An Opera for Animals at Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai, Hong Kong
Closed
22 June–25 August 2019 Group Show An Opera for Animals Rockbund Art Museum, ShanghaiHong Kong
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, 52 ARTISTS 52 ACTIONS at Artspace Sydney
Closed
18 May–4 August 2019 Group Exhibition 52 ARTISTS 52 ACTIONS Artspace SydneySydney

Samson Young Represented By

Experimenter contemporary art gallery in Ballygunge Place, Kolkata, India Experimenter Kolkata
TKG+ contemporary art gallery in TKG+, Taipei, Taiwan TKG+ Taipei

Samson Young In Ocula Magazine

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Leelee Chan Awarded BMW Art Journey 2020 Ocula News Leelee Chan Awarded BMW Art Journey 2020 Hong Kong, 18 June 2020

Pandemic permitting, the Hong Kong artist will visit destinations in Europe, Japan and the Americas to explore the past, present and future of materials.

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Patrick Sun: Collecting with Pride Ocula Conversation Patrick Sun: Collecting with Pride By Stephanie Bailey

Patrick Sun, founder of the LGBTQ-focused Sunpride Foundation, reflects on what he has learned in the process of developing an institution that aims to broaden perspectives surrounding identity in Asia.

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Samson Young Wins HK $500,000 Sigg Prize Ocula News Samson Young Wins HK $500,000 Sigg Prize Hong Kong, 13 May 2020

The prize recognises outstanding artistic practice in Greater China, including Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

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RoseLee Goldberg: Performance Then and Now Ocula Conversation RoseLee Goldberg: Performance Then and Now By Fawz Kabra

RoseLee Goldberg had long been invested in contemporary performance art before her founding of the inter-disciplinary arts organisation Performa in New York in 2004. Born in Durban, South Africa, Goldberg studied political science and fine arts at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, and then art history at the Courtauld...

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Samson Young In Related Press

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Nam June Paik today Related Press Nam June Paik today 18 October 2019, ArtReview

Koki Tanaka How did you first encounter the work of Nam June Paik? I think it was through TV Buddha, but not sure which one. I just googled it now, and find out there are so many different versions of TV Buddhas by Paik...

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Sydney Biennale review – Ai Weiwei anchors rewarding show that comes of age in its 21st year Related Press Sydney Biennale review – Ai Weiwei anchors rewarding show that comes of age in its 21st year 16 March 2018, The Guardian

There is a simple and quiet work by the Belgian artist Michaël Borremans called The Bread (2012) in this year's Biennale of Sydney. It recalls the work of Flemish 15th century portraits, close and intimate, but it's a modern picture too. It's of a girl's upper body, dressed in a blue top, her hands in front, her gaze downwards. I was fairly...

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A look at Hong Kong 20 years after the handover: Hong Kong artists at CFCCA, Manchester Related Press A look at Hong Kong 20 years after the handover: Hong Kong artists at CFCCA, Manchester 10 September 2017, Art Radar

At this year's Venice Biennale, Hong Kong artist Samson Young (b. 1979, Hong Kong) takes his visitors on an exploration of charity songs in the Hong Kong Pavilion. At the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art in Manchester, however, he takes viewers down quite a separate path. Entitled One of Two Stories, or Both (Field Bagatelles), Young presents...

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11 national pavilions and exhibition to see at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017 Related Press 11 national pavilions and exhibition to see at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017 23 May 2017, Art Radar Journal

Rock, Paper, Scissors: Positions in Play — United Arab Emirates Curated by Hammad Nasar, commissioned by the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation and supported by the UAE Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, the exhibition features existing, new commissions and re-fabrications of 'lost' works by five UAE-based artists. The...

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