A Friendly Distance

3 Mar 2023 - 21 May 2023

A solo exhibition by Trevor Yeung

Exhibition Guide: Download Here


A solo exhibition by artist Trevor Yeung, a friendly distance is an expression of the artist’s reflections during his residency on the island of Penang and the sense of familiarity the place shares with his home in Hong Kong.

Expressed through the lens of nostalgia and melancholy, Yeung captures the space and distance that exists between every interaction. From the distance between two individuals, the spaces found in our surroundings; to the abstract gaps between traditions and cultures, the exhibition plays into the duality of moving towards a contemporary alternative and the longing for an obsolete past that is slipping through.

A friendly distance (Penang)


Archival inkjet print

60cm x 40cm

A friendly distance (Singapore)


Archival inkjet print

60cm x 40cm

The exhibition opens with two people in an infinity pool overlooking a dense urban scape expanded through vast areas of reclaimed land; and closes with an image of the backs of another two people sitting side by side with a young tree nestled in between, overlooking a newly reclaimed site that is yet to be developed.

This powerful duality of the artwork is an expression of ambivalence – the sense of remorse and longing for a culture that is heading towards an alternative one; and the grasping at the tail end of an increasingly obsolete past.

During Lunar New Year, it is a customary Hokkien ritual to raise the prayer tables higher by stacking them on benches. The table is laden with abundant food with the pineapple (a symbol of good fortune and prosperity) taking center stage. By raising the table higher, it is believed to bring the offerings closer to Jade Emperor in heaven.

Here is a pineapple climbing on a stack of pots to reach as high as it can.

Try so hard to make things happen (Pineapple)


Pineapple plant, soil, old plant pots, concrete and metal pole.

250cm x 49cm

Photo Credit: Trevor Yeung

The time when I forget about you


Vintage fabric

87.5cm x 88.5cm

As part of the Taoist religious tradition, a fabric banner is used to adorn the altar or prayer table. This banner is usually crafted in auspicious colours like red and gold, and heavily embroidered in traditional designs deeply rooted in the culture across generations.

Here, the altar banner is made using the traditional fabric in the specific size, but the artists has left out the embroideries depicting the mythical illustrations. This intentional exclusion is to express how the artist feels disconnected from the real meaning and beliefs of what they represent.

The Ong-Lai (2023)

Through the lens of a Hong Kong observer in Penang during Lunar New Year, the artist muses over the reinterpretations of customs and rituals that feels both familiar and foreign at the same time.

Like a game of Chinese Whispers, how connected are we to the real meaning behind the rituals we blindly adhere to? How much of our sincerity and intention has been distorted to generational replacements in the name of convenience and technology?

Here lies the pineapple shaped candles and lights that have replaced the actual fruit as an offering. Is the meaning and interpretation of the ritual still relevant, or it is more so as an almost obsolete obligation to the tradition passed down to us?


Enveloping the installations and reenactments in this exhibition are walls that are painted in slightly different shades of white as a form of subtle manipulation to the eye.

What appears here is seemingly sterile, but the slight discrepancies of the shades of white create an illusion with shadows that will linger in your mind. As you explore the different corners of the exhibition, alongside the interference of natural light coming through at various times of the day, it gaslights your senses and toys with your perception.

Photo Credit: Trevor Yeung

The Ong-Lai


Pineapple, candle, lamps, stand and water

30cm x 52cm x 20cm

Photo Credit: Trevor Yeung



Paint on wall

Size variable

Artist Sharing

4 March 2023, Saturday, 11:00am

In this intimate sharing session, Trevor Yeung shares the creative process and the concept behind this exhibition.

He dives into his personal experience throughout his residency in Penang, and how the experience inspired him to explore the topic of cultures, traditions and the distance that exists between a person’s individual experience and how they perceive the world around them.

About The Artist

Trevor Yeung (b. 1988, Guangdong Province, China) uses botanic ecology, horticulture, aquarium system and installations as metaphors that reference the emancipation of everyday aspirations towards human relationships. Yeung 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 over 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.