“Embodying classical aesthetic, music and culture, Benjamin Skepper is a musician with an extraordinary sense of the contemporary” (M. Pugliese, Director Museo 900 for Rolling Stone Italy)
Benjamin Skepper creates artworks that are new and experimental, challenging our perception and collapsing the borders that divide us. He is particularly focused on applying new technologies and scientific innovations in an artistic context, exploring the human body as a musical instrument, identity, medicine and human healing.
A Melbourne born classical musician, he operates at the confluence of art, medical science, technology, fashion, modern classical and the avant-garde. He is a composer, a performer, an art director, published scientific researcher, and cultural advocate, with particular interests in Russia and Japan. His talent and curiosity have taken him across musical boundaries and artistic borders for which he has garnered international acclaim.
A child prodigy, who commenced classical music education at two years of age, Benjamin began touring by seven, as a solo pianist, boy soprano, ballet dancer and the youngest self-taught harpsichordist in Australia. He embarked on his first international solo piano tour at 10 years old, performing Mozart concerto with full orchestra in New Zealand, as a Suzuki Music Young Ambassador. His passion continued with studies in the violoncello, touring and performing with symphonic orchestras and chamber ensembles nationwide.
Alongside his two decade long professional classical career, Benjamin also completed an Arts/Law degree with Honours at the University of Melbourne, majoring in Public and International Law, specialising in Children’s Rights. A qualified solicitor, he remains actively involved in human rights and children’s policy, working and travelling extensively in Asia and Europe, volunteering with NGOs and donating time to charities and organistaions including Médecins Sans Frontières and Red Cross Japan.
In 2007 he established “contrapuntal”, a creative think-tank and art collective in Tokyo which has since branched out across the globe. Over the past decade, he has developed a strong practice in site-specific multi artform installations, spanning large scale commissions and live performances, Art Direction, sound composition, and production. Clients include Museums, Festivals, commercial and luxury brands, fashion, TV, theatre, film and government.
In 2008, he launched his independent music label under contrapuntal, with five self-produced solo releases, licensing original music for film, commercials and online digital content, collaborating with major record labels, including Colombia Music, Ninja Tunes, and a music video exclusive with VICE (THUMP) Australia.
In the field of contemporary art, he has presented performance art works and sound installations at the Museo del Novecento (Milan), “Culture Warriors”, Australia’s first Indigenous Art Triennial at the National Gallery of Australia (Canberra), as artist in residence at “No Mans Land” (French Embassy, Tokyo), “Sight & Sound: Music & Abstraction in Australian Art” (Arts Centre, Melbourne), “Rooms” International Fashion and Design Trade Fair (Tokyo), White Trade Fair (Milan), “Art After Dark” for the National Gallery of Victoria’s exhibition “Napoleon: Revolution to Empire” (Melbourne), and as a headline performer at MONA FOMA 2013 (Tasmania), dubbed a festival highlight by curator Brian Ritchie. By special invitation from The Hermitage Foundation, Benjamin performed at the opening of Manifesta 10, The European Biennial of Contemporary Art in Saint Petersburg, Russia (2014). He recently undertook a sound residency at Klanghaus (Austria) 2016, He has particiapted in a sound-art exhibition in Tokyo with Yoko Ono on the back of artist features for Rolling Stone Italy + Russia, AMICA, GQ Japan and Good Weekend Magazine (Australia).
As Cultural Ambassador to Russia, he has consulted local and federal government bodies to research international collaborations and exchange opporunities. Among multiple Brand Ambassadorships, most recently as a Yamaha Artist and Ableton, Benjamin also launched “TECTONIC”: a site specific installation, bringing art and its audience into sacred and religious architectural sites, intent on igniting our thoughts about innovation, identity and human diversity.
His sound work was commissioned for transmission into Outer Space in 2015 from MONA, and in 2016 he was appointed a Fellow of the Moscow State Conservatory of Music, working in the ground breaking field of music and genetics, presenting a world premiere in Vienna at the Symmetry Festival. In 2017, he became the first artist in resident at Science Gallery Melbourne, securing a commision to create a new live performance artwork for the inaugural exhibition “Blood” in August 2017. The creative development of that work has resulted in a new Research and Development project “PUMPING BLOOD”, for which Benjamin has received federal government funding support.
Benjamin believes in the power of Art and creative entrepreneurship to bring about social change and global sustainability, and that creativity and collaboration is our key to securing world peace.