Lau’s body of work is about “redefining attitude through climbing new altitude”; it is a representation of the terrain he traversed on his journey.
“The ‘attitude’ part is about one’s own belief, way-of-thinking, or ‘voice’ towards a chosen activity; be it cycling, dancing, design, etc. In this particular case, I have chosen cycling. Whereas the ‘altitude’ part is referring to the choice I made to ride a bike through places I have never been to. A quote by Yvon Chouinard also inspired this particular body of work: ‘how you climb a mountain is more important than reaching the top’,” explains Lau.
Lau’s experiences motivated him to create abstract art based on his interpretation of the visual stimuli he was exposed to during his travels. His art reminds us of how much can be learnt and absorbed through travel, motivating the creative brain.
Q: Tell us a bit about yourself.
A: I was born in Hong Kong and arrived in Sydney, Australia, ten years ago to pursue my tertiary education in design.
Since my arrival in Sydney, I have completed a design degree with honours from the College of Fine Arts, led a couple of typographic courses as a sessional academic, managed a gallery, and have enjoyed recognition by publishers and in competitions both locally and internationally.
I currently work in advertising, but spend my spare time devoting myself to personal projects outside of that field.
My style of graphic design is focussed on conceptual and content driven typographic design.
Q: When did you first realise your passion for art?
A: We all draw as children – being a form of self-expression – so I guess you could call that art! But I would say I first realised my passion for the style of work I produce today when I commenced my art studies in Sydney. It’s quite a different world over here in comparison to Hong Kong, mostly in terms of cultural influences.
Q: Tell me more about the exhibition you recently held?
A: Altitude/Attitude was my first solo exhibition held in Sydney during the first two weeks of March this year. The concept behind the body of work is personal, as it is how I chose to document a recent cycling trip I had through Taiwan and Hong Kong.
I used the exhibition as a fundraiser for The Chris O'Brien Lifehouse at the RPA. All profits from sales of my art will be donated towards this cause, which is in aid of combating cancer.
Q: What do you love most about being an artist?
A: I love having the freedom to be able to say and express what I want in any way and using any medium I choose. I can illustrate my attitude visually.
Q: What do you hope to achieve through the creation of art?
A: There is nothing in particular I want to achieve with my artistic creations, given that what I create is so personal. However, if people appreciate my works then that is an achievement in itself.
On the other hand, I do have goals and targets with my design practice. Perhaps my utopia is being able to integrate the two in the future.
Q: Do you draw inspiration from any particular artists or design movements?
A: The beliefs and theories of certain design movements play a significant role in my art and design practice. To name a few: modernism, bauhaus, concrete poetry, and the grid system.
There are also practicing designers whose works demonstrate the beliefs of the above movements, for example, Helmut Schmid, Massimo Vignelli and Wim Crouwel. Their works are timeless and I find their design theories to be inspiring.
Q: What's next for you?
A: I aim to maintain the momentum of the art and design practice I have established. In the long term, I hope to work and live in Melbourne, followed by either Berlin or Amsterdam.
Lau is currently a finalist in the Qantas Spirit of Youth Awards 365 for the Visual Arts Award.
His “Altitude/Attitude” artwork will soon be available for purchase from the He Made She Made gallery's online store.