Artist Samson Young received $64,500 as the winner of the M+ museum’s inaugural Sigg Prize.

Daria Simone Harper
May 13, 2020 4:39PM, via M+

Artist Samson Young. Photo by Winnie Yeung @ iMAGE28 courtesy of M+, Hong Kong.

Hong Kong artist Samson Young won the inaugural Sigg Prize with his 2018 work Muted Situations #22: Muted Tchaikovsky’s 5th. He will receive $HK 500,000 ($US 64,500). The other five shortlisted nominees—Hu Xiaoyuan, Liang Shuo, Lin Yilin, Shen Xin, and Tao Hui—will each receive $HK 100,000 ($US 13,000). In addition, the first-ever Sigg Fellowship was awarded to Beijing-based researcher Yang Zi.

Suhanya Raffel, museum director at M+ and co-chairwoman of the Sigg Prize, said in a statement:

The presentation of work by the shortlisted artists forms a compelling statement on the current landscape of contemporary art in the Greater China region. We are delighted to recognise Samson Young’s outstanding, sophisticated work. I extend my heartfelt congratulations to him, and my deep thanks to all the shortlisted artists.

Trained as a classical composer, Young created an installation that explores elements of sound and performance. The piece features a muted orchestral performance, aiming to bring the audience’s attention to sounds that normally go unheard. The Sigg Prize jury said in a press release that, “By silencing the dominant sound, the work mirrors elements of current political dynamics.”

Previously known as the Chinese Contemporary Art Award (CCAA), founded by the influential collector Uli Sigg in China in 1998, the Sigg Prize was launched in 2018 by Hong Kong’s M+ museum and is awarded biennially. The prize is open to artists born or working in the Greater China region and helps to amplify the work of artists from its diasporas. The Sigg Prize holds an exhibition showing works by all of the selected finalists. Curated by M+’s senior curator, Pi Li, the 2019 edition opened at the M+ Pavilion in December.

Daria Simone Harper
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