artist / participant

press release

Typhoon No. 9 — Trevor Yeung
14.03.2019 — 25.05.2019

In 2018, Typhoon Mangkhut hit the city. On September 14, the Hong Kong Government held a rare cross-department press conference on the preparation for the "Super Typhoon", to remind its citizens to "prepare for the worst". With winds of 205 km/h, the Hong Kong Observatory issued the severe storm a Signal No. 10. As Trevor Yeung recalls "many trees were falling, masking tape was sold out everywhere, lots of window were broken this time. Water was leaking from cracks into apartments. Tall buildings were swinging."

Hong Kong is located in the most active tropical cyclone basin on the planet. Each summer sees several typhoons hit the city. The Hong Kong Tropical Cyclone Warning Signals are each rated 1 of 8 types. Typhoon signal No. 9 is a "developing" category with No. 10 being the highest on the register. Category No 9 is considered a warning, and the gathering storm is expected to intensify into a No. 10 rating. It is a warning to stay indoors and to tape up your windows with a cross of masking tape. This warning suggests an in-between stasis - a type of limbo.

Acknowledging the intensity of this experience Yeung notes that this exhibition is not concerned with ferocity nor destruction, recovery, or prevention, but is more responsive to the individual's relation to internment, "The moment that we are staying home waiting, waiting for everything to be back to normal, we know that we are safe right now. But [there remains] an uncertainty and dissatisfaction about the thing that is happening outside, our shelter and the future. We [feel the need] to get out from the shelter."

No stranger to using the natural world as a medium, Yeung has become known for his many living artworks including microsystems of plant and animal-based works at institutions including Witte de With Center for Contemporary Arts in Rotterdam; the 10th Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai and Para Site in Hong Kong. Yeung's new exhibition consists of several living plants in different states of trauma derived from simulated meteorological phenomena such the typhoon.

Common to the intimacy in Yeung's work, and not attempting to represent the collective thought, again the artist reinforces the personal powerlessness in this temporality dictated by nature. Yeung's exhibition describes a feeling of weakness and of helplessness in deciding one's own future. The works speak of a type of mourning, a lament for something one is soon to lose.

Trevor Yeung was born 1988, Dongguan, China. He lives and works in Hong Kong and studied at the Academy of Visual Arts at Hong Kong Baptist University.
Trevor Yeung's practice uses natural bodies and systems as a pretext for describing human processes and relations. He does not use phenomena from the natural world as metaphors in a romantic tradition, rather he projects emotional and intellectual scenarios on biological substitutes,which he manipulates and alters with a full acceptance of the artificiality of nature. He creates worlds with their own logic, one that is only vaguely allowing the logic of objects, animals or plants he uses to function undeterred, imposing his own rules and parameters and staging dramatic scenarios that are intimately connected to his own experiences from the human world. The artists own limitations in sociability and the emotional realm are often morphed into elaborate fables in which more than receiving satisfaction, the artist perversely continues to enact the failures and imperfections that are his main driving force.
- Cosmin Costinas is Executive Director/Curator at Para Site, Hong Kong's leading contemporary art centre and one of the oldest and most active independent art institutions in Asia.

Yeung has participated in biennials and exhibitions including "Cruising Pavilion" at the 16th International Architecture Biennale, Venice, Italy, 2018; the 38th EVA International Biennale, Limerick, Ireland, 2018; the 4th Dhaka Art Summit, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2018; "Soil and Stones, Souls and Songs", Para Site, 2017; "The Other Face of the Moon", Asia Culture Center, Gwangju, South Korea, 2017; "Sea Pearl White Cloud", 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Australia, 2016; "Adrift" OCAT Shenzhen, China, 2016; "CHINA 8 - Paradigms of Art: Installation and Object Art", Osthaus Museum Hagen, Germany, 2015; and the 10th Shanghai Biennale, China, 2014.

His work is in the collections of Kadist Art Foundation, Paris and San Francisco and M+ Museum, Hong Kong.