Orchestrations by Samson Young

Tuesday, 24. May 2016

An initiative by Khanabadosh (Mumbai) and Institute for Contemporary Art Research (IFCAR), Zurich University of the Arts

Hong Kong
Orchestrations by Samson Young

May 27 – June 12, 2016
Opening Reception: May 26, 2016, 7-9 pm

Connecting Space Hong Kong
G/F, Wah Kin Mansion, 18-20 Fort Street
North Point, Hong Kong
Monday to Sunday: 11am – 7pm

Orchestrations is a solo exhibition by Samson Young that looks at the modalities of "orchestra-making” in the various communities of Hong Kong. The exhibition consists of a selection of existing works and new commissions. It is the culmination of a year-long musicological research into the history of orchestras by Young in conversation with curator Qinyi Lim and musicologist Dr. Giorgio Biancorosso.
The exhibition draws from Young’s training as a composer, his understanding of the politics behind the
Western musical notation system, and his view of orchestras as formed collectives. Through music
making, orchestras are invested in both the formal act of performing music and the informal act of creating harmony. Interested in the slippages that can occur in the use of "orchestra" as a word, Young’s presentation questions the structures that govern the way we experience music and the audiences it constructs. In addition, the accompanying publication elaborates on the possible methodologies that can be used to build these temporary communities.


The newly commissioned video, Orchestrations, focuses on three segments that are loosely stitched together, consisting of interviews, rehearsal footages of Hong Kong community orchestras, and an enactment of a community building activity. In the accompanying publication, Young addresses his research on historical examples such as Cornelius Cardew’s Scratch Orchestra in 1969 where musical improvisation was seen as a form of political and social emancipation.

For more information please visit the website of Connecting Spaces Hong Kong – Zurich.

Samson Young studied music, philosophy and gender studies at the University of Sydney and holds a Ph.D. in Music Composition from Princeton. He was the inaugural winner of the BMW-Art Basel Art Journey Award in 2013. Young participated in the Asia Triennial Manchester, the Moscow Biennale of Young Art, and also at group exhibitions at Kunsthalle Winterthur, Switzerland, Today Art Museum,
Beijing and Taipei Contemporary Art Museum, Taiwan.

Orchestrations is part of Draft, a yearlong project anchored in nine interdisciplinary collaboratives—Beijing, Cairo, Cape Town, Hamburg, Hong Kong, Mexico City, Mumbai, St. Petersburg and Zurich—which collectively consider how contemporary art can produce, provoke and contribute to critical public debates. Draft is an initiative of Khanabadosh, Mumbai and Institute for Contemporary Art Research (IFCAR), Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK)

Photo: Samson Young, Orchestrations, 2016. Courtesy of the artist.