Art Basel and BMW present Samson Young as the first BMW Art Journey winner.
The BMW Art Journey allowed Young to embark on a creative journey across five continents. Young undertook a worldwide tour of iconic bells, documenting them and creating works of visual art and music composition 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.
Samson Young’s project for the inaugural BMW Art Journey, titled “For Whom the Bell Tolls: A Journey Into the Sonic History of Conflict,” built on the Hong Kong-based artist’s longstanding fascination with military technology and his training as a composer. In this project, he turned his attention to bells, which brought 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 focused on bells that give form to the idea of “conflict” in a variety of ways. His journey took 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 notated and recorded the sounds of exceptional and historically resonant bells, generating 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.
Art Basel and BMW collaborated with the awarded artist to document the journey and share it with the public through print publications, online and social media.
The experts conducting the judging were 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.
The BMW Art Journey is a new global collaboration between Art Basel and BMW, which has been created to recognize and support emerging artists worldwide. The prize is open to artists who are showing in Discoveries and Positions in the Hong Kong and Miami Beach show respectively. Two judging panels, comprised of internationally renowned experts, shortlist three artists, who are then invited to submit proposals for a journey aimed to further develop their ideas and artistic work.
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.
During Art Basel in Miami Beach, Samson Young will participate in an art talk at the Soho House on Dec 1, moderated by long-term New Yorker staff writer Lawrence Weschler (invitation only) and at the Art Basel Conversation moderated by Hans-Ulrich Obrist on Dec 4, 2015. Early results from his journey are displayed at the BMW booths in the Botanical Garden and the Collectors Lounge.