Park Projects: Nahla Tabbaa & Trevor Yeung

Park Projects is a new programme that invites artists to create works in the context of Jameel Arts Centre’s waterfront sculpture park. The commissioned artworks inhabit public space in unexpected ways, questioning notions of nature and community.

Dubai-based artist Nahla Tabbaa looked at the park’s ecosystem and its imbrication in networks of food production. Her commission, titled Shamsa, is a series of time-based interventions that look at the passage of time through the impact of the sun. The artist was invited to use the building itself as a place of experimentation. Some interventions dried and marinated for months, while others were a matter of minutes.

Nahla Tabbaa’s commission resulted in a limited-edition artist’s book in collaboration with graphic designer Layan Attari. 

Hong Kong artist Trevor Yeung developed a new site-specific work, Rock Universe (2022), in which a series of rocks adorned with light fixtures, solar panels and artificial plants populate the park. At night, when the Centre is closed and the waterfront is bustling, the rocks emit light, their soft glow keeping park visitors company.

Trevor Yeung’s commission will remain on display until May 2022.

About Nahla Tabbaa

Nahla Tabbaa is an artist whose practice explores tensions between the urban and the organic, the beautiful and the grotesque. Sensitive to the self-organising agency of materials, she adventures into the world of immateriality and the intangible through experiments in alchemy and combining elements from the organic and inorganic. Her methods are intentionally slow-paced, meditative and labour intensive and permeate strands of her everyday life to heal and harmonise her otherwise fast-paced life.

Nahla works with different mediums such as urban research, the culinary arts, ceramics and drawing.

She earned her MA in Curatorial Practice from the Bath School of Art and Design (2012), and her BFA in Sculpture from Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design (2009). She previously led and developed the community programme at Sharjah Art Foundation, and currently develops education projects independently and in collaboration with institutions including Art Jameel, Warehouse 421, and the Beacon House National Trust University. She is also a culinary navigator, podcast host and ethnographer with Frying Pan Adventures; a tourism company specialised in food and walking, the co-founder of The Alchemy of Dyeing; an alchemical dyeing educational platform; Forsa School; a critical and professional programme for artists and Daftar Asfar; a sketchbook publishing collective. Her work has been presented at Art Dubai 2021 as part of the Campus Art Dubai 8.0 residency and is represented by August Fifth and Beyyn. She is currently part of the 8th cohort of the Salama Bint Hamdan Emerging Artists Fellowship. 

About Trevor Yeung

The practice of Trevor Yeung (b. 1988, Dongguan, China) consistently excavates the inner logics of closed systems and the way in which such systems contain and create emotional and behavioural conditions. In his mixed-media works, carefully staged objects, animals, and plants function as aesthetic pretexts which delicately and ironically address notions of artificiality and the processes of human relations.

Yeung has participated in biennials and exhibitions including ‘KölnSkulptur #10: Natural Takeover'( Skulpturenpark Köln, Cologne, Germany, 2020); the 2019 Lyon Biennale (Lyon, France, 2019); the 38th EVA International Biennale (Limerick, Ireland, 2018); the 4th Dhaka Art Summit (Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2018); ‘The Other Face of the Moon’ (Asia Culture Center, Gwangju, South Korea, 2017); ‘Soil and Stones, Souls and Songs’ (Para Site, Hong Kong, 2017); ‘Seal Pearl White Cloud’ (4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Australia, 2016); and the 10th Shanghai Biennale (China, 2014).

Trevor Yeung lives and works in Hong Kong.