Samson Young / Real Music
Jul 24 – Oct 5, 2019

Samson Young, Possible Music #1, 2018, Detail, One Hand Clapping, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 2018, Courtesy The Artist. Photo Ji Hoon Kim. © Samson Young

Talbot Rice Gallery and the University of Edinburgh are proud to present the first solo exhibition in the UK by acclaimed Hong Kong artist and composer, Samson Young. At the heart of the exhibition is an ambitious collaboration with the University of Edinburgh’s Next Generation Sound Synthesis (NESS) research group, who have developed pioneering software that can generate the sound of virtual instruments. For historians this offers the opportunity to hear lost objects, while for Samson Young it is an opportunity to hear the impossible.

 

University of Edinburgh Collections selected by Samson Young. Installation view ‘Samson Young / Real Music’, Talbot Rice Gallery, 2019. Courtesy Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh

Samson Young, ‘The world falls apart into facts’, 2019. Two channel video installation, 25 mins. Installation view ‘Samson Young / Real Music’, Talbot Rice Gallery, 2019. Courtesy Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh

University of Edinburgh Collections selected by Samson Young. Installation view ‘Samson Young / Real Music’, Talbot Rice Gallery, 2019. Courtesy Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh

Pieter Neefs the Elder (1578–1661), ‘Interior of a Cathedral’, no date. Oil on panel, 29 × 39 cm. Torrie Collection, University of Edinburgh. Accession no. EU0726. Installation view ‘Samson Young / Real Music’, Talbot Rice Gallery, 2019

A new series of installations entitled Possible Music, 2018 – ongoing, are borne from this encounter, the artist composing music for instruments that do not exist in reality. Possible Music #2, commissioned for the exhibition at Talbot Rice Gallery and Monash University Museum of Art, pushes the parameters of this technology by orchestrating the effects of scale, temperature and force. How would a bugle sound, for instance, if it was activated by the fiery breath of a dragon, superheated to 300 degrees Celsius? Within Young’s 16 channel sound garden, a field of speakers sprout towards the cupolas overhead, while mixed media sculptural forms allude to a colossal, oversized trumpet emerging from the carpeted earth. This impossible rendition is complimented by a new body of work on paper, colorful, textured graphic scores.

 

Samson Young, Possible Music #2(detail), Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh

Samson Young, Possible Music #2(detail), Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh

‘Possible Music # 2’, 2019. Installation view ‘Samson Young / Real Music’, Talbot Rice Gallery, 2019. Courtesy Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh

‘Possible Music # 2’, 2019. Installation view ‘Samson Young / Real Music’, Talbot Rice Gallery, 2019. Courtesy Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh

Talbot Rice Gallery will also premier a new video performance/lecture by Young entitled The World Falls Apart into Facts, generated from the artist’s extensive research into the Chinese folk song Molihua (Jasmine Flower). Tracing its different versions and their claims to authenticity, this work is a genealogical telling of the song’s story, with the artist adopting an ironic ethnographic gaze. Accompanying this are a number of items that derive from Young’s exploration of the University of Edinburgh’s collections, including Pieter Neefs the Elder’s Interior of a Cathedral from the University’s Torrie Collection and a class of musical instruments often described as ‘tourist instruments’ held at St Cecilia’s Hall.

 

Samson Young ‘Flags like moths’ wings’, 2019. Ink, pastel, color pencil and watercolor on paper with artist frame (3D-printed PLA). Courtesy Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh

Samson Young ‘Many voices different voices a very long song’, 2019. Ink, pastel, color pencil and watercolor on paper with artist frame (3D-printed PLA). Courtesy Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh

The exhibition will include Muted Situation #22: Muted Tchaikovsky’s 5th, 2018 (commissioned by Sydney Biennale in 2017) – a 12 channel sound installation in which an orchestra performs the work on muted instruments. Tchaikovsky’s 5th is replaced with the startling and powerful sound of the orchestra itself – pulsing, heaving and expressive as a physical, concentrated body.

 

Samson Young, ‘Muted Situation #22: Muted Tchaikovsky’s 5th’, 2018, Video and 12 channels sound installation, 45 mins. © Samson Young. Courtesy of the artist

Samson Young, ‘Muted Situation #22: Muted Tchaikovsky’s 5th’, 2018. Video and 12 channels sound installation, 45 mins. Installation view ‘Samson Young / Real Music’, Talbot Rice Gallery, 2019. Courtesy Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh

Samson Young, ‘Muted Situation #22: Muted Tchaikovsky’s 5th’, 2018, Video and 12 channels sound installation, 45 mins. © Samson Young. Courtesy of the artist

Real Musicwill be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue available at Talbot Rice Gallery, Monash University Museum of Art and through Koenig Books. Designed by Stuart Geddes and Žiga Testen, with contributions by Stefan Bilbao, Alexandra Chang, Charlotte Day, Tessa Giblin, Alexander Rehding, Joel Stern and Samson Young.

The exhibition has been curated by Tessa Giblin, Director of Talbot Rice Gallery, and Charlotte Day, Director of Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne. Real Music will tour to MUMA, May 2 – July 4, 2020.

 

Samson Young / Real Music
July 24 – October 5, 2019 / Talbot Rice Gallery
Visit the exhibition page >

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