Lecture Series


The Courtauld Institute of Art, London
6-7.30pm, 23.05.2023

Trevor Yeung, I could be a good boyfriend, 2013 (modified form 2011), Dionaea muscipula 'G16 Slack's giant', Body fluid, Butterflies, Distilled and Spring water, Laboratory equipment. Image courtesy of the artist.

Hong Kong-based artist Trevor Yeung often uses live plants, insects and small animals in his work, creating intimate ecologies within the space of the gallery. Working across a variety of media, Yeung’s installations prompt us to think about how our emotional and behavioural conditions are shaped by the systems and structures of control that make up the fabric of our everyday lives.

In the final event of the 2023 Asymmetry Lecture Series ‘Energies of Attachment: Rethinking Intimacy in Contemporary Chinese and Sinophone Art’, the artist will give a short presentation of his practice, before he is joined in conversation with the curator Qu Chang, a friend of the artist who has written extensively on his work. Their conversation will begin with a discussion of the artist’s childhood memories, stories of gardening and home-making, and move onto the notion of ‘lyrical storytelling’ and placemaking, queer desires, and the organic entanglements of diasporic feelings and their politics.


Organised by Dr Wenny Teo, Senior Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Art, The Courtauld; Michèle Ruo Yi Landolt, Deputy Director, Asymmetry Art Foundation, and Dr Feixuan Xu, Asymmetry Postdoctoral Fellow, The Courtauld.


Trevor Yeung (b. 1988, Guangdong Province, China) draws inspiration from intimate and personal experiences, culminating in works that range from image-based works to large-scale installations. Obsessed with structures, he creates different scales of systems which allow him to exert control upon living beings, including plants, animals, as well as spectators. Yeung has participated in Singapore Biennale (Singapore, 2022); Kathmandu Triennale (Kathmandu, 2022); la biennale de Lyon (Lyon, 2019); EVA International Biennale (Dublin, 2018); 4th Dhaka Art Summit (Bangladesh, 2018) and the 10th Shanghai Biennale (Shanghai, 2014). Yeung has also exhibited at institutions and galleries internationally including Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris (Paris, 2022); Tai Kwun Contemporary (Hong Kong, 2022); Singapore Art Museum (Singapore, 2022); Jameel Arts Center (Dubai, 2022); M+ (Hong Kong, 2021); Shanghai Power Station of Art (Shanghai, 2021); Para Site (Hong Kong, 2020); Stiftung Skulpturenpark Köln (Cologne, 2020); HOW Art Museum (Shanghai, 2020); Taikang Space (Beijing, 2018); Museum of Modern Art (Warsaw, 2018); esea contemporary (Manchester, 2017) and OCAT Shenzhen (Shenzhen, 2016). Trevor Yeung will have his solo exhibition at Gasworks London in 2023, marking his inaugural institution exhibition in the UK. Yeung currently lives and works in Hong Kong.

Qu Chang is an independent curator and writer currently based in Paris, in residence with École des Beaux-Arts de Paris (2022-2023). Her previous curatorial projects include Café do Brasil (2019, Para Site), Crush (2018, Para Site), Doreen Chan: Hard Cream (2019, HB Station), Law Yuk Mui: From whence the waves came (2018, Art Basel Hong Kong), Adrift (2016, OCAT Shenzhen), among others. She is a member of 楔 Xiē, with whom she is a part of the exhibition To Bind, Embed, Shimmer, and Brace at DAAD Galerie, Berlin (2022). Her writings appear in journals including Artforum, Frieze, Ocula, Spike, Yishu, among others. She is a Ph.D. candidate at the Cultural Studies department, Lingnan University. Her doctorate research focuses on the discourse of love in post-reform China. Previously, she served as a curator at Para Site art space, Hong Kong.