This catalogue was published in conjunction with Samson Young: Songs for Disaster Relief, Hong Kong in Venice, a solo exhibition by Hong Kong sound artist and composer Samson Young at the 57th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia.
Young created a new body of work that attempts to reframe the popularization of ‘charity singles’ – purpose-made recordings for charitable causes, featuring a super-group of artists – as a historic ‘event’ and a culturally transformative moment.
Charity singles were most widespread in the 1980s, and coincided with the rise of neoliberalism and the global popular music industry. In 2014, Bob Geldof and a new group of artists attempted a remake of the iconic song, Do They Know It’s Christmas to support West African nations in their fight against Ebola. A perceived ‘out-of-timeness’ of the contemporary remake left a mark on Young’s consciousness, setting him on a course of research that informed this exhibition.
Through a deliberate repurposing and creative misreading of such iconic titles as, We Are the World and Do They Know It’s Christmas the artist generates a series of objects, works on paper, and multi-room sound and video installations that together constitute a unique audio-visual experience.
With contributions from Samson Young, Doryun Chong, Seth Kim-Cohen, Ying Kwok and Anthony Leung Po-Shan.
Accompanies the exhibition, Samson Young: Songs for Disaster Relief, Hong Kong in Venice at Campo della Tana, Castello 2126-30122, Venice, Italy (13 May – 26 November 2017).
English and Chinese text.