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A Meeting of Minds: Samson Young and Yang Yeung on Notating Beauty That Moves: Music at an Exhibition

Can you listen to music with you eyes? Artist and composer Samson Yeung and founder of non-profit art and culture organisation soundpocket Yang Yeung sure think so. 

As co-curators of Notating Beauty That Moves: Music at an Exhibition, Young and Yeung, in collaboration with the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, present a multimedia exhibition at the new ArtisTree from 3 to 29 March. The programme features 36 musical scores, video installations, paintings and photographs, as well as a series of live performances by members of the Hong Kong Sinfonietta (HKSL), Australian group Ensemble Offspring and pianist Colleen Lee. 

But it's an exhibition that explores much more than music and musical scores -- it's about the movement in music, and the inherent music in silent movement. 

“Can you listen to music with you eyes?”

Confused? We'll let the co-curators explain a bit more...

Samson Young on... how it all began
"I was approached by the Hong Kong Sinfonietta to collaborate on an exhibition about musical scores...If we're doing an exhibition, I felt we needed to have a curator. [Yeung] has done curation work on sound art before, so she was a natural choice." 

Yang Yeung on... entering Samson's musical world
"One day I received a call from Samson. Around that time, I was reading a book about the hands of artists and I felt that this would work well with [the exploration of] musical scores. This made me think of artists and the many movements they make with their hands during the process of creating an art piece. This idea formed and we started chatting."

Samson Young on... being inspired by musical scores

"I really enjoy looking at scores. Throughout history, there are lots of amusing scores, but it's not something many people talk about. Scores are often seen as functional, but they can be perceived as art, with a certain kind of beauty. And, in the handwriting of the composers, you can see motion."

Samson Young on... scores and movement
"We can see motion in music. This includes the movement of music itself, in the scores and in the bodily movement of performers. On the other hand, in physical motion like dance, or even the traces that car tyres leave behind, there's a musical sense in them, too. The interchange of these ideas is a theme of this exhibition."

Yang Yeung on... her curatorial approach
"Notating Beauty That Moves" comes from music. Most people's experience with music is from watching musicians perform or playing instruments themselves. In this programme, we have concerts, but we also have an exhibition showing scores from different periods of time, and showing how music can be silent. Samson and I believe that music can come out through these scores, and it is a beautiful world that we don't really get a chance to appreciate."

Samson Young on... working with Yang Yeung
"This exhibition wouldn't be the same if we didn't work together. Our collaboration has actually widened the concept. If we talk about motion, I am the faster, less-patient person. Yang is slower and calmer. The two of us together have the perfect tempo. Each of us has brought very different aspects to this exhibition -- that experience has been very interesting."

Yang Yeung on... working with Samson Young

"Our feelings towards arts is different, as are the things that we like. But we found a common language that cannot be explained. I've realised that we understand scores in quite different ways -- he considers them more llike visual objects, whereas I like to enter the world behind the scores. Bringing these two things together in this exhibition creates an interesting chemistry.

Notating Beauty that Moves: Music at an Exhibition
3-29 March 2018

See the programme page for more details.
Follow @artistreehk on Instagram and #ListenwithYourEyes 

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