Although Lau does not self-define as a painter, his practice revolves around painting as a medium to convey the mystery of the ordinary. His search finds traces of human existence in the distance between reality and its depiction. 'The human' is the subject that his works seek to discover and reveal, especially through engendering recognition via images. People-mostly faces-appear in his works. Lau refers to existing humans, yet still, his work is devoted to something that lies beyond: the awe of recognising abstract gestures as a peculiar subject. The central issue is the enigma of representation, with its mechanisms of relatability: how the beholder can connect to both the represented object and the one who depicts it. Alongside, the relations between the artist himself and his subjects take significance the way in which the people and surroundings that circle him come to mirror Lau himself.
A distinctive aspect of images and their working emerges; that of memory. In Lau's practice, images become mnemonic repositories, places where remains of identity are discovered and enshrined. Both the internet and his personal photographic archive are sources to discover the possible everyday icons of our time. With a difficult-to-describe quality-of that which makes a photo the proper genesis of a painting-the mystery of image-making starts to unfold, giving life to a wistful iconography of the present.
Text by Elisabetta Cuccaaro