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For his first US museum exhibition, Hong Kong-based sound artist Samson Young looks to the idealism presented at the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago to explore varying concepts of social progress and utopia through a trilogy of animated music videos. The catalog addresses questions of how people adapt to societal changes that they have little control over. For Young, “progress” as it was defined in the 1933 fair’s subtitle “A Century of Progress” represents a specific variant of aspirational thinking. From cars to shopping malls and houses designed for the future to political change, progressive thinking has had contrasting consequences as it made its impact felt across the globe in the decades that followed.

The accompanying catalog acts both as an introduction to Young’s work and a lavishly illustrated document of the exhibition. It features an essay by curator Orianna Cacchione contextualizing Young’s work, an essay by G. Douglas Barrett exploring the tension between modern visions of utopia and the musical version of the contemporary, and an interview between Seth Kim Cohen and Young about the form of the music video and its variations in the exhibitions. Additionally, the catalog also contains full-color video stills of the works, original drawings, and archival materials included in the exhibition.

Publisher: Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago Press, 2020.

Language: English 

Hardcover: 184 pages

Dimensions: 8.25 x 10.75 inches

ISBN: 978-0935573619


About the artist


Samson Young (b. 1979, Hong Kong)

Multi-disciplinary artist Samson Young works in sound, performance, video, and installation. He graduated with a Ph.D. in Music Composition from Princeton University in 2013. In 2017, he represented Hong Kong at the 57th Venice Biennale. Other solo projects include the De Appel, Amsterdam; Kunsthalle Düsseldorf; Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh; SMART Museum, Chicago; Centre for Contemporary Chinese Art in Manchester; M+ Pavilion, Hong Kong; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; Ryosoku-in at Kenninji Temple, Kyoto; and Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne, among others. Selected group exhibitions include Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Gropius Bau, Berlin; Performa 19, New York; Biennale of Sydney; Shanghai Biennale; National Museum of Art, Osaka; National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul; Ars Electronica, Linz; and documenta 14: documenta radio, among others. In 2020, he was awarded the inaugural Uli Sigg Prize. His works are in the collections of Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; M+ Museum, Hong Kong; Mori Art Museum, Japan; and KADIST, Paris.