'Trevor Yeung: Courtyard of Attachments, Hong Kong in Venice' Exhibit Opens in Hong Kong Next Year

Hong Kong audiences will have the opportunity to view Yeung’s work at an exhibition at M+, to be held in 2025.

By: Mar. 18, 2024
'Trevor Yeung: Courtyard of Attachments, Hong Kong in Venice' Exhibit Opens in Hong Kong Next Year
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M+, Asia’s first global museum of contemporary visual culture in the West Kowloon Cultural District in Hong Kong, and the Hong Kong Arts Development Council (HKADC) have announced the exhibition Trevor Yeung: Courtyard of Attachments, Hong Kong in Venice, Collateral Event at the 60th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. This solo exhibition of brand-new works by Hong Kong–based artist Trevor Yeung is curated by Olivia Chow, Assistant Curator, Visual Art, M+, and marks the sixth collaboration between M+ and HKADC at one of the world’s most prestigious platforms for international contemporary art.

In his Venice presentation, Yeung explores sentimentality, desire, and relationships of power through the concept of attachment, which manifests as feelings of connection with objects as well as a longing for someone special. The exhibition articulates the artist’s intimate experiences and keen observations of the relationships between humans and aquatic systems, drawing from references that include his father’s seafood restaurant, pet shops, feng shui arrangements, and the fish he kept as a child.

Trevor Yeung: Courtyard of Attachments, Hong Kong in Venice consists of eleven new artworks, four of which are specific to Venice and respond to the architecture of the exhibition venue. The site-specific works are Pond of Never Enough, Salty Lover (Venice), Gate of Instant Love, and Night Mushroom Colon (Hong Kong in Venice). Yeung articulates his fascination with artificiality in nature and urban space with aquariums that are fully operational but contain no fish. The landscapes of these fishless aquariums saturate the exhibition with a palpable sense of absence and allude to the fragile equilibrium that characterises our relationships. The other works are Mx. Trying-My-Best, Two Unwanted Lovers, Night Mushroom in shade (Teak Cabinet), Rolling Gold Fountain, Little Comfy Tornado, the stealth that doesn’t hurt/the scratch that doesn’t help, and Cave of Avoidance (Not Yours).

At the heart of the exhibition are the works Little Comfy Tornado and Cave of Avoidance (Not Yours). Little Comfy Tornado consists of a miniature tornado whirling inside a small fish tank placed atop a tower of stacked plant stools. It is connected to a professional-grade filtration system through a network of tubing, a seemingly excessive support mechanism that evokes a sense of unease. Cave of Avoidance (Not Yours) is an immersive installation that recreates the interior of a pet shop, with aquariums devoid of fish. By omitting the fish from the meticulously arranged row of tanks, Yeung leads us to reconsider our motivation for creating artificial environments designed to condition or control another living being. These two works encapsulate Yeung’s approach to the exhibition, in their combination of familiar elements of Hong Kong visual and material culture to craft an immersive environment that brings deeply felt emotions to the surface. This has been an enduring interest for the artist throughout his career, and it takes on a new eloquence in Venice.

Bernard Charnwut Chan, Chairman of the M+ Board, says, ‘We are deeply honoured to join hands with HKADC once again for this Collateral Event, with a Hong Kong’s artist at the prestigious 60th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, to promote arts and cultural exchange and strengthen Hong Kong’s position on the global arts map. I look forward to sharing this new exhibition by Trevor Yeung, an outstanding artist from Hong Kong.’

Kenneth Fok, Chairman of HKADC, recognises the far-reaching impact of promoting Hong Kong artists abroad: ‘HKADC has organised Hong Kong’s Collateral Event at the International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia since 2001. Throughout the years, we encourage and support Hong Kong artists to participate in this international art event. We are pleased to present Trevor Yeung’s solo exhibition this year with M+ as we look forward to empowering Hong Kong artists to contribute to the development of Hong Kong’s thriving arts scene.’

Suhanya Raffel, Museum Director, M+, highlights the importance of fostering a new generation of Hong Kong artists and curators on the international stage through ongoing collaboration with HKADC: ‘The collaboration between M+ and HKADC—now more than a decade long—showcases the best of Hong Kong contemporary art practices and curatorship to an international audience. I am thrilled to see Trevor Yeung’s exhibition take shape in Venice, and I am particularly delighted that our own curator Olivia Chow is curating this exhibition. Her selection to be the curator of this edition of Hong Kong’s exhibition in Venice affirms M+’s role as an incubator of curatorial talent.’

Doryun Chong, Deputy Director, Curatorial and Chief Curator, M+, reflects on Yeung’s artistic practice: ‘Trevor Yeung weaves together deeply personal encounters with astute social observations in his work. His commentary on the ambiguities of human relationships and the social systems we perpetuate is articulated with lyrical nuances. His presentation in Venice captures the entanglements of power that are part of loving and feeling in an increasingly complex world.’

Olivia Chow, Curator of the exhibition and Assistant Curator, Visual Art, M+, elaborates on Yeung’s presentation: ‘It has been a pleasure and an honour to collaborate with Trevor Yeung on his most ambitious presentation to date. This exhibition is a true group effort. It is possible only through close collaboration within a tightly knit team, which speaks to the sense of community fostered by this generation in Hong Kong’s art ecosystem. Yeung examines emotional complexity, human relationships, and ecology in the widest sense. Courtyard of Attachments aptly invites us to reflect on the expectations and social codes that condition the ways we relate to one another, raising questions about power dynamics and the limits of rationality in human connection. This is something we can all benefit from thinking about.’

Trevor Yeung expresses his excitement: ‘I am deeply grateful for the support from M+ and HKADC to present a new body of work on such a special occasion. It is an honour to represent Hong Kong and to look into ideas of longing and belonging in Venice. I hope visitors find a piece of themselves in the exhibition and that it leads to thinking about the strong attachments we all form. Thank you to my team and to everyone who has supported this project. Creating an exhibition is never something you can do alone.’

As with the five previous collaborations between M+ and HKADC, Hong Kong audiences will have the opportunity to view Yeung’s work at an exhibition at M+, to be held in 2025.



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