10467 - 20170305 - First solo show in Europe by the Hong Kong based artist Samson Young on view at Kunsthalle Düsseldorf - 17.12.2016-05.03.2017


Samson Young, Stanley (detail), 2014. Neon, sand. Courtesy Galerie Gisela Capitain. Photo: Katja Illner.
Kunsthalle Düsseldorf presents the first institutional solo show in Europe by the Hong Kong based artist Samson Young (*1979). Young is a sound artist and composer. He studied music, philosophy, and gender studies at the University of Sydney and has a doctorate in composition from Princeton University. In 2017 the artist will be featured in the Hong Kong pavilion at the Venice Biennale.
From the perspective of a composer, Young conceives sound works, installations, performances, drawings, sound walks, and films. His works usually make concrete historical and social references and often deal with conflicts. Each of his projects involves a great deal of background and field research. His work is motivated by scientific precision and conceptual rigor. The result is a very powerful and aesthetically expressive language.

The importance of the aesthetic investigation of sound in Young’s work is illustrated above all by his journeys, which follow in the tradition of sound walks and field recordings. For instance, for his work For Whom the Bell Tolls: A Journey into the Sonic History of Conflicts (2015–), he traveled to five continents to visit historically significant bells and record their sound. The result was an archive of bell sounds, which Young will use to compose a new piece.

While he was at the various locations waiting for the bells to ring, he created a series of drawings entitled "Landschaft" (on view here on the first floor). In these “sound drawings” the artist translates the noises of his environment and the ringing of the bells into musical notation. His works represent an unusual contribution within the complex relationship between music and visual art and open up new perspectives for the perception of sounds as well as pictures.

The Kunsthalle Düsseldorf is showing a selection of works from Samson Young’s oeuvre on three floors. Along with the series "Muted Situation" (2014)—directions for listening to sound situations in a new way or perceiving the political qualities of sound itself—and a selection of works from the series "Sound Drawings" (2015–), the exhibition also features large-scale installations in which Young deals with conflicts and wars.

The exhibition is curated by Jasmina Merz.