Current Student Wai Lau Featured in Two US Exhibits and Two in Hong Kong

BY Audrey Deng, October 23, 2019

Wai Lau, a current student in the visual arts program, is currently featured in four group exhibits across the world, two in Hong Kong, and two in the U.S.

Lau, born in 1982 in Hong Kong, currently lives and works between New York and Hong Kong. Her work involves photography, video and installation. Her practice primarily explores the relationship between the narratives in history and personal memories, as well as how collective and individual consciousness, gender and cultural representations are formed. She draws inspiration from personal and historical materials, as well as popular culture.

In Hong Kong’s Denny Dimin gallery, On the Map gathers works from artists who explore the formal conventions of mapping or refer to geography in other ways. According to the gallery, “Maps are one of the earliest and most timeless forms of visual representation that help us understand the world. Maps purport to be scientific and objective, but in practice they are subjective views of the world, heavily influenced by cultural norms and centuries of history.” The gallery’s website features selected works, which range from digital art, to photography, to sculpture. The exhibit closes on Oct. 29.

Lau’s work is also on display in the Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts, as part of a show called Very Natural Actions. This show is an argument against the phrase “art for art’s sake,” which values art only for its beauty. In this show, “Artists are thrust into the world and in turn create their own worlds; the persistent focus on the surfaces of artworks breaks down, unveiling deeper meanings.” The gallery urges viewers to consider their own reactions and connections to the art on display. This show closes on Dec. 31.

At Houston’s FotoFest, Intersect: Technology, Belief, and the Environment strives along the same theme. Here, artists “explore the overlapping subjects of technology, belief, and the environment. Invoked directly and indirectly, through photography, video, and installation, the artists examine issues surrounding value in nature, science, religion, the built environment, and constructed identity.” The exhibit features mainly Asian artists, and closes on Nov. 9.

In addition to these three exhibits, Lau’s work was in New York’s Nancy Hoffman Gallery x Artsy. She was joined by fellow Columbia University students Roni Aviv ‘20, Susan M B Chen ‘20 and Stipan Tadić ‘20. Hosted in partnership with Artsy and the International Studio & Curatorial Program, this gallery allowed viewers to bid online for new work by international contemporary artists. In the past, the program sold works by artists including Tony Albert, Yiso Bahc, Luca Buvoli, Michael Joo, Louise Lawler, Jen Liu, Amanda Means, John L. Moore, Luisa Rabbia, Terry Winters and more. Bidding closed on Oct. 16.