Hong Kong based artist Samson Young is the first winner of BMW Art Journey

As part of a collaboration with Art Basel, BMW announced Samson Young as the first Art Journey winner. The Hong Kong based artist will now embark on a creative journey across five continents and undertake a worldwide tour of iconic bells, and create works of art in response to them. Samson Young was one of three shortlisted artists selected from this year’s Discoveries sector at Art Basel’s show in Hong Kong.

His project for the inaugural BMW Art Journey, titled “For Whom the Bell Tolls: A Journey Into the Sonic History of Conflict,” builds on his longstanding fascination with military technology and his training as a composer. In this project, he turns his attention to bells, which bring together these two related areas of interest. Cannons and bells are made of essentially the same materials. In times of war, bells would be melted down to create cannons, and when peace returned, bells would be recast from surplus weapons. For Young’s 2015 BMW Art Journey, he will focus on bells that give form to the idea of “conflict” in a variety of ways. His journey will take him to bells and research institutions in Myanmar, Kenya, Austria, Cologne, Morocco, Sicily, South Korea, Australia and several cities in the UK and United States, where the artist will record the sounds of exceptional and historically resonant bells, thus creating an archive of bell recordings, a series of “bell sound sketches,” a set of new bronze bells, and an original musical composition for bell-ringers and orchestra.

He will also get a chance to collaborate with Art Basel and BMW to document the journey and share it through print, online and social media. The experts conducting constituting the jury included Richard Armstrong, Director Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Claire Hsu, Director Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong; Matthias Mühling, Director Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich; Shwetal Patel, Curator, India; and Pauline J. Yao, Curator Visual Art M+, Hong Kong.

According to the jury, “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. 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. Samson Young has crafted a journey with ambitious scope and strong potential to offer meaningful strides in his development as an artist.”

The BMW Art Journey is a global collaboration between Art Basel and BMW, which has been created to recognise and support emerging artists worldwide. The next judging of the BMW Art Journey will be held during Art Basel in Miami Beach, where three artists from the Positions sector will be shortlisted next December. The winner will be announced in early 2016. BMW is a global partner of Art Basel, and has supported Art Basel’s three shows in Basel, Miami Beach and Hong Kong for many years.

For further information about the artist and the project, please visit:

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