Samson Young Wins First BMW Art Journey Award

Signal Path II: Sinister Resonance by Samson Young. Photo: Courtesy Samson Young.
Signal Path II: Sinister Resonance by Samson Young. Photo: Courtesy Samson Young.

Sound artist Samson Young is the first winner of BMW’s new Art Journey award, which will be given twice a year to an emerging artist in Hong Kong and Miami. The award functions as a “mobile studio [that] can take an artist almost anywhere in the world—to undertake research, make contacts, and envision and create new work,” according to a description of the prize. The award is presented in conjunction with Art Basel as a means of engaging art communities in two of the cities that host the fairs annually (see Art Basel and BMW Send Artists on a Journey).

The Hong Kong-based artist’s project, “For Whom the Bell Tolls: A Journey Into the Sonic History of Conflict” will focus on bells and their status as both a symbol of peace and strife. His journey will take him to multiple cities in five continents to study and record various historically significant bells. (He will not, however, be making a Hemingway-esque excursion to Spain, as the title suggests.) The project will produce an archive of bell recordings, a series of bell sound sketches, a set of bronze bells, and an original musical composition.

“[He] has crafted a journey with ambitious scope and strong potential to offer meaningful strides in his development as an artist,” the jury concluded, which included Guggenheim director Richard Armstrong, Asia Art Archive director Claire Hsu, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus director Matthias Mühling, and curators Shwetal Patel and Pauline Yao.

Young holds a Ph.D. in music composition from Princeton, and was named the 2013 artist of the year by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. He has exhibited at the Asia Triennial Manchester, the Moscow Biennale of Young Art, and also at group exhibitions at Kunsthalle Winterthur, Switzerland, Taipei Contemporary Art Museum, Taiwan, and Today Art Museum in Beijing.

Art Basel and BMW will collaborate with Young to document and share his journey. The next shortlist for the BMW Art Journey will be announced at Art Basel in Miami Beach in December 2015, and the winner will be selected in early 2016.

Samson Young. </br>Photo: via Spring Workshop

Samson Young. Photo: via Spring Workshop.


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