[Photo: Simon Vogel]

Galerie Gisela Capitain is pleased to announce its second solo exhibition with Hong Kong based artist Samson Young. With the exhibition the mind blanks at the glare Young expands on his thinking about systems of beliefs and disbelief which act as volatile gatekeepers to fragile concepts of the truth or the real.

“In the past, seeing was believing; yet, today we can’t be so sure. (...) In this vacuum, information that is mobilised through feeling first is rendered more reliable than the images - scientific, or otherwise - we see.” (Orianna Cacchione, in: Reasonable Music for Nervous Times, Dubai 2021)

The new multi-media installation Altar music (liturgy for an indecisive believer) was specially conceived by Samson Young for the gallery’s main space and transfers the room into a site of spiritual references. The environment - consisting of four videos, printed carpets, digital prints on the windows, speaker sculptures and other objects - encompasses an autonomous system to generate and distribute information - from text as image, to text as sound. Young utilizes an open source version of the AI algorithm GPT-3 (known as GPT-NEO), a deep-learning software, to generate seemingly coherent text. GPT-3 was released with a fair warning by its creator of its risks and potentials as a tool for misinformation. The program is fed with daily updated headlines of the Hong Kong Free Press - one of Hong Kong’s last independent news outlets - creating a continuous set of fictitious news. These stories are visualized twofold, whereby the loss of information has been deliberately factored in. A second so_ware programmed for data-sonification filters these texts for nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs and translates them into various musical and non- musical sounds, emiaed through an array of 24 3D-printed speaker-sculptures, as well as a TV screen that also displays generative visuals. The speakers are arranged around an altar-like table, chiming constantly at the beholder. Ultimately however, the once written information dissolves into a diluted visual and acoustic noise, developing its very own poetic qualities.

Included are two videos showing each a computer-generated image of a moving prayer drum from a different angle. A third looping animation mimics the top view onto an opened photo-copier, almost blinding the viewer with its ongoing scanner light. Along the site-specific installation new works on paper titled Interpassive music are on view in the main space. Again, GPT-3 generated texts appear but are rendered almost unreadable as the text was drawn using an ink-soaked sponge brush that is aaached to a pen ploaer.

Two bodies of work created in 2020 and 2021 are further exploring the topic of subjective perception. His Relational Drawings are diaries of significant events that have taken place in Hong Kong from September to November in 2021, annotating the political situation, while others share personal moments. A second group of drawings, a sculpture and the video Sonata for smoke are also included in the mind blanks at the glare. Young realized these works during his residency at the Ryosoku-In Temple in Kyoto for the exhibition Close Reading in 2020. In contrast to his Sound Drawings, Young not only creates notations of experienced sounds, but also captures visual impressions of the landscape and gardens around the temple.

[Text: Galerie Gisela Capitain]

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