Live Stage: Resonance – “Sound” [hk Hong Kong]

installationview1.jpgResonance — Exhibition/ Performance/Talks with Samson Young and Yao Chung-Han :: July 16 – September 5, 2010 :: :: Opening Reception: July 16; 7:00 – 9:00 pm (performance by Yao Chung-Han (IO Lab, Taiwan) :: I/O Gallery, U/G, Tung Yiu Commercial Building, 31A Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong.

Resonance an exhibition about the word sound. It is about the sound of the word, the meaning of the word, and the usage of the word; that is to say, it asks what sound is, how sound is used, and what sound can do. One may wonder why an artist would choose to work with sound, as opposed to music or visual art, but would find that answers are rarely forthcoming.

Resonance attempts to present an abstracted territory for this dialogue, stripping sound down to its most basic elements; the same elements that contribute to the other creative modes and methods in question. Just as Seth Kim-Cohen, working in the Duchampian conceptual tradition in his book In the Blink of an Ear, has called for an art of “non-cochlear sound” as opposed to the sound-in-itself associated with John Cage, this project wonders what happens when the sound is removed from sound art. As an exhibition, it engages in the transformation of music into sound, of sound into pressure, and of the sonic into an anti-essentialist conceptual program.

The goal of this curatorial program, writ large, is to re-examine the underpinnings of the characteristic styles, concepts, and devices that have come to represent the genre of sound within the field of contemporary art. In this vision, sound moves from medium or material to a more historically and contextually loaded territory, an object that can no more reject the lineages of both Cage and Duchamp than it can avoid participation in the carnival of post-conceptualism altogether. I/O (Input/Output) presents the works of two artists currently working through this problem: Samson Young, the Hong Kong composer, scholar, and artist known for his contributions to everything from game art to new classical performance, and Yao Chung-Han, the Taipei-based sound artist widely recognized for his research into the breakdown points of the technological matrix that surrounds us. Both are representatives of the new wave of emerging sound cultures across greater China and into the international sphere, offering new points of entry into these questions.

Yao Chung-Han here includes the installation, I Will Be Broken (2010), a floor-to-ceiling suspended column of circular fluorescent lamps tied together in a mesmerizing totem with its own power cords. As the piece slowly strangles itself into forced obsolescence with the surges of electricity through both body and frame, its lighting sources fluctuate along with a soft, uncanny buzzing. Although the visual spectacle and conceptual nervousness are at first domineering, the work functions primarily on the level of and through the medium of sound, emitting an atonal and unpredictable sound that requires attention by virtue of its low volume and commands consideration based on its ever-evolving almost organic state. Here, sound is a by-product that comes to both lead and stand in for an abstract choreography of relevance and terror that plays out on the stages of perception, ultimately creating an un-composed cacophony through physical experience.

Approaching the sound barrier from the other direction, Samson Young strips down music to some of its most basic elements, ultimately transforming it into sound. For the installation, Beethoven Piano Sonata, nr.1 – nr.14 (Senza Misura) (2010), the artist has programmed forty-seven exposed circuit boards, each one simultaneously ticking and blinking to the tempo of a single movement of all of Beethoven’s early fourteen piano sonatas. The effect is mesmerizing both visually and sonically, recalling the aesthetics of Gyorgy Ligeti’s, Poeme Symphonique for 100 metronome, more than anything else, but simultaneously stripping down such musical experiments in timing and composition to a naked framework of pure temporality, creating a totalizing experiment that verges on pure sound without reducing itself to the exercises in taste typical of sound-in-itself.

I/O Gallery is proud to offer a stage for these explorations of physical sensation, cognition, composition, temporality, and destruction. Conceived in collaboration with the Society for Experimental Cultural Production, this exhibition-along with an associated series of performances and talks featuring Yang Yeung, Cedric Maridet, and Yao Dajuin among others-hopes to throw into relief the problems that mark discourses of sound, art, music, and new media today, contributing to an ongoing conversation.

Yao Chung-Han :: Yao Chung -Han was born in Taipei and graduated in 2008 from the Graduate School of Art and Technology, Taipei National University of the Art. He is an active member of the new generation of sound artists in Taiwan, which include the group IO Lab. His works are mostly concerned with sound, while at the same time, searching for the ultimate connections between video, installation, space and various media.

Recent exhibitions include: Non-Places-Architecture of Pheromonal Presence, Architecture Exhibition, SCU, Taipei, Taiwan, 2010; Emergencies!014, NTT ICC, Tokyo, Japan, 2010; TOKYO STORY, Tokyo Wonder Site, Tokyo, Japan, 2010; SuperGeneration@TAIWAN, Beijing Today Art Museum, Beijing, China 2010 and Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China, 2009.

Samson Young :: With formal training in classical music and a keen eye for visuals, spatial installations and new technologies, Samson Young has been known to combine his diverse interests into uniquely intermedia concert experiences. Beyond the classical concert stage, Young’s creative output spans the widest possible range: from composition for symphony orchestra and live electronics, to amusement ride-turned-interactive installation, to multi-channel video featuring himself dressed as a character from a well know children’s television progrmame.

Recent exhibitions include: 18 Degrees of Acclimation, White Box Gallery, New York, 2010; Beyond the Colony of Kitsch, Crossing Art Gallery, New York, 2010; Hong Kong Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture West Kowloon Cultural District Waterfront, Hong Kong, 2010; Prospectives International Festival of Media Art, University of Nevada, 2009; October Contemporary 2009: Last Intervention; Osage Kwun Tong, Hong Kong 2009.; Box of Revelation, Hong Kong Arts Center, Hong Kong, 2009;

Gallery Events include:
Friday 16th July: Opening Reception, 7-9pm
Opening performance by Yao Chung-Han (IO Lab, Taiwan), 8pm

Wednesday 28th July: Artist Talk, 7pm
Samson Young will talk about practice and his new work, Beethoven Piano Sonata, nr.1 – nr.14 (Senza Misura) (2010).

Friday 6th to 7th August: Window Performance 1, 9.30pm-6pm
A 21 hour continuous performance of “Vexations”, by French composer Erik Satie.
A joint presentation by Unmeasured Music HK and Hell Hot Festival, 2010.

Tuesday 17th August: Panel Discussion at Asia Art Archive
Guests include Yao Dajuin (Founder of China Sound Unit and producer of the record label Post-Concrete), artists Cedric Maridet and Samson Young, and Yeung Yang (Executive Director of soundpocket).
Yao Dajuin’s participation in this I/O panel discussion is made possible by, Around sound art festival and retreat, 2010.

Friday 3rd September: Window Performance 2 (Resonance Closing Party), 7.30pm
Greg Wildes, Hong Kong Handover. Presented by Unmeasured Music HK.

Jul 7, 2010
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