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Tessa Giblin, Charlotte Day, eds. Edinburgh: Talbot Rice Gallery; Melbourne: MUMA; and London: Koenig Books, 2019. With texts by Stefan Bilbao, Alexandra Chang, Charlotte Day, Tessa Giblin, Alexander Rehding, Joel Stern, Samson Young. Book design by Stuart Geddes and Žiga Testen.

”The publication Samson Young: Real Music provides insight into the Hong Kong artist’s widely acclaimed practice to date and is the first to draw out the reverse ethnographic lens that informs his work. Richly illustrated, it features new essays by curators and music theorists Alexandra Chang, Alexander Rehding and Joel Stern, and a conversation between Young and audio synthesis expert Stefan Bilbao.

Published to accompany his exhibitions at Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh, and Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA) in 2019 and 2020 respectively, Real Music documents a major new commission created through the artist’s collaboration with the Next Generation Sound Synthesis (NESS) research group within Edinburgh College of Art’s Reid School of Music. Drawing on systems that model and predict how a virtual instrument would sound in a specific environment (what would a brass instrument sound like played at 300 degrees Celcius?), Young has composed music for instruments that could never exist-bending the rules of both music and sculpture to create a host of ‘possible instruments’.

The publication also profiles the artist’s two-channel video, The World Falls Apart into Facts, 2019, and the series of ‘muted’ performances that the Young has been producing as video and sound installations since 2014, working in collaboration with different ensembles and orchestras. Produced for the exhibition, The World Falls Apart into Facts is based on the artist’s investigation of several musico-cultural curiosities: the popular Chinese folk song ‘Molihua’ (Jasmine Flower), Japanese Togaku court music and the phenomenon of ‘tourist instruments’.

Samson Young: Real Music was awarded Silver in the Editorial & Books category for the 2020 Designers Institute of New Zealand Best Design Awards.”


Publisher ‏ : ‎ Co-published with MUMA and Walther König, London, 2020

Language ‏ : ‎ English

Paperback ‏ : ‎ 122 pages

Dimensions: 9.1 x 0.4 x 11.8 inches

ISBN: 978-3960986454


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.