Press release

It Means Nothing To Me

Mizuma & One Gallery is honored to present It Means Nothing to Me by the British artist Susan Philipsz on March 17th, 2012, which is her first solo exhibition in China. In 2010, Susan's exhibition "Lowlands" made her win the 2010 Turner Prize. Turner Prize, since its beginnings in 1984, becomes the most important and most famous awards in visual art area. It was the first time a sound installation had been nominated for the modern art prize.

For her first solo exhibition in China, Susan Philipsz will collaborate with her eighty-year-old father. They will hum an old and famous Welsh folk song "Ash Grove". At the solo exhibition, 6 speakers will be set to play this work in the gallery. Susan returned to her hometown Glasgow especially for recording some soundtracks which has some Chinese elements with her father. As for the folk song, Susan said: "The Ash grove is a song that I learned to sing at school. It is also a song my father loved to sing when he was a child and in later years a tune that I would often hum to myself when alone. The song evokes a pastoral scene of green valleys but it has a very melancholic air and in the second verse it is revealed that the ash grove is also the place where the singers love is buried. I have recorded myself and my father each singing the song separately and have both recordings played simultaneously in the darkened space. After the song there is a six channel instrumental interlude based on the melody but with more sinister undertones."

Down yonder green balley where streamlets meander,
When twilight is fading I pensively rove;
Or at the bright moontide in solitude wander,
Amid the dark shades of the lonely ash grove;
Twas there, while the blackbird was cheerfully singing,
I first met that dear one the joy of my heart!
Arond us for gladness the bluebells were ringing,
Ah! then little thought I how soon we should part.

Still glows the bright sunshine o'er valley and mountain,
Still warbles the blackbird its note from the tree;
Still trembles the moonbeam on streamlet and fountain,
But what are the beauties of nature to me?
With sorrow, deep sorrow, my bosom is laden,
All day I go mourning in search of my love!
Ye echoes, oh, tell me, where is the sweet maiden?
"She sleeps, 'neath the green turf down by the ash grove."

Susan Philipsz was born in 1965 in Glasgow, Scotland, and lives in Berlin. When she was young, she and her sister were sung in the choir of a catholic church. From then, Susan became sensitive to the sound. She got BA fine art sculpture in Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art. She began to try to "define the space by the sound". She said, "SOUND, ESPECIALLY AN UNACCOMPANIED VOICE, has its own associations and can really act as a trigger for memory. In my installations, I am looking into how sound can define the architecture and how you can experience the space in a new way. When you are listening to music you can be transported to another place. I think that when there are also these ambient sounds in the space, you're half-grounded in the work and half-grounded in the present. At these moments, your senses become heightened and you become more aware of the place you in. I believe people have these reactions in response to my work almost simultaneously."
Philipsz is going to participate in numerous art exhibitions this year so far, among which besides three exhibitions in Beijing, Seoul and New York, also including some international group exhibitions such as the 4th Guangzhou Triennale (Sept.28 - Dec. 16).