​The First BMW Art Journey Winner

Samson Young

Samson Young, winner of the first BMW Art Journey, has completed his journey. His project for the inaugural BMW Art Journey, titled For Whom the Bell Tolls: A Journey Into the Sonic History of Conflict, was developed based on the Hong Kong-based artist’s longstanding fascination with military technology and his training as a composer. His goal was to record iconic bells in various locations, producing images, texts, and a musical composition on the basis of his first-hand impressions. "I am, naturally, thrilled to be able to make this journey happen," Samson said about his new start. "The BMW Art Journey is a real luxury in that it facilitates the research and the fieldwork - the drifting that drives the work - that is indispensable to the outcome of the creative process."

Samson was one of three shortlisted artists, together with Mika Tajima and Trevor Yeung, showcasing in last year's Discoveries sector at Art Basel’s show in Hong Kong, selected by jury members Richard Armstrong, Director Guggenheim Museum (New York), Claire Hsu, Director Asia Art Archive (Hong Kong), Matthias Mühling, Director Lenbachhaus (Munich), Shwetal Patel, Independent Curator (India), and Pauline J. Yao, Curator M+ Museum (Hong Kong).

"Samson Young’s proposal stood out for several reasons: its depth and clarity, its multi-layered approach and its ability to bring a simultaneously contemporary and historical dimension to notions of place," the jury has said of their choice. "His research will thoughtfully interweave multiple contexts addressing major issues to include war, religion, community and the politics of sound. He shifts the focus from seeing to listening and his project will show that also ideologies can have a certain sound."

'So you are old by the time you reach the island' to be premiered at Art Basel's show in Hong Kong

Samson will present a new public artwork during Art Basel’s Hong Kong show this year. Titled So You Are Old by the Time You Reach the Island, the piece will take the form of a multi-media walk that will lead participants on a journey through the streets of the Admiralty and Wan Chai districts in Hong Kong. Offering a time and site-specific experience, the work weaves together institutional histories of place with fictional and personal narratives, all through films, audio tracks, on-site FM radio broadcasts, live actions, and installation elements dispersed along the route.
On a sixty-day trip around the globe, Young researched and recorded numerous bells, compiling an extensive archive of bell recordings and a series of bell sound sketches on paper. "During my 2015 BMW Art Journey," Samson explains "I have developed a deeper appreciation for the cultural and psychological meanings of travel, and I hope that though this experience, participants in the sound walk will share this understanding."

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