Sculptor / interdisciplinary artist / HKNLversations director – Hong Kong
A graduate of the University of Chicago majoring in visual arts and political science, May Yeung specializes in sculpture. Af ter success with public exhibitions of her work Citation at Chicago Union Station, Rockefeller Chapel, and Regenstein Library, May’s interest in public art installation grew, particularly when it comes to the relationship between sculpture and viewers. With an interest to examine and question this relationship further, May’s works “What If…” and “Hold Me” were shown at the Smart Museum and Harper Memorial Library in Chicago between 2012 and 2015; inviting viewers to contemplate the role of art in their lives. Through Chicago Torture Justice Memorial Exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago, she de-abstracted the memorialized and re-established the silenced into official memory.
Upon her return to Hong Kong in 2015, May was invited to showcase “Cocoon” at the Residence of the Dutch Consul General in Hong Kong and Macau and “Ichi” as part of Dutch Days 2016. Influenced by the artist’s experience as a third culture child, these sculptures peel back layers of the ordinary to re-examine the definition of home and reflect on our identity. To continue on h er self-discovery journey, May partnered with Hong Kong Films Awards for Best Art Direction Winner Robert Loh, acclaimed photographer John Fung and 8 other artists on “Ikigai” in Papay Gyro Nights Art Festival at Videotage in Hong Kong and 33 Space in Shen zhen.
With the success of her shows, May was selected to be the one of the few local sculptors to exhibit at Jubilee Edition of Le French May Arts Festival in 2017. Along with French and Hong Kong artists, she launched “Tsubame”, a series of artwork that examines gastronomy and fashion as social practices. In particular, she used dim sum steamers from Tuk Chong Sum Kee Bamboo Steamer Co., the only store left in Hong Kong that hand-weaves bamboo steamers, into her sculpture “Mangata”. Stemming from her love for Chinese chess game as a child, May utilized wood from Sze Cheung Wood Ltd, the only wood shop with 100+ years of history, into her installation “Komorebi”. By transforming day-to- day objects into artwork, May believes that it is the first step in keeping Hong Kong’s traditions alive.
As the first step of revitalizing the community, May uses sculpture as a cultural vehicle to repurpose historical sites and e stablish local roots. She installed “Kiss Me”, a series of minimalistic public installations, at multiple historical trails, including Tai Ping Shan Street and Wan Chai Market and showcased her documentary at Fringe Club, a Grade I historical site. To further raise awareness of relics that emb ody traditions and innovations, May partnered with Mitsuko Onodera, the ambassador of the Hong Kong Tourism Bureau Tokyo, on “Eshajōri” at Art Next at PMQ, a Grade III historic building, and at 1881 Heritage, a Hong Kong declared monument.
May currently features “# .” at Jouer at Sau Wa Fong, known for its buildings built in the 1960s, and Yu Lok Lane, an Urban Renewal Authority (URA) venue, after receiving positive reviews of the installation at Logan Arts Center in the US. The sculpture examines the rise of Dutch photographer Marcel Heijnen’s @chinesewhiskers and other KOLs that is driven by the paradox between the popularity of social media and the nostalgia of intimate interactions.
For her dedication to promote the arts, May received Making Art with the Community Art Grant from The Education University of Hong Kong in 2015 and Mina Ninagawa People’s Choice Award from Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei in 2016.
After 3 years of being involved in HKNLversations, she is thrilled to lead Hong Kong team to further promote the cultural exchange between Hong Kong and the Netherlands.