Lau Wai

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Born 1982 in Hong Kong. Lives in New York and Hong Kong,

Lau Wai’s latest on-going project explores the construction of cultural representations and how they have been reinforced through various aspects. She focuses on how Hollywood cinema from 1950 onwards depict the “Orient”, particularly in relation to Hong Kong. Furthermore, she investigates how fantasized representations have functioned in the process of identity formation of the depicted cities, regions and ethnic groups. Films based on British novels, such as The World of Suzie Wong (1960), demonstrate an early yet significant phase of how Hong Kong was interpreted, constructed, and delivered to worldwide audiences. From 1980 onwards, cinematic depictions of the “Orient” are combined with futuristic imagery, starting from the growing influence of cyberpunk and anime culture. Whether it’s creating exotic “oriental others” to adopting the conventional East Asian cultural representations, Hollywood cinema has constantly taken part in constituting cultural representations of different regions, race, ethnicity and gender to global audiences.

Lau Wai currently lives and works between New York and Hong Kong. Her work involves photography, video and installation and 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. Lau Wai received her BA (Hons) Fine Art (Studio Practice and Contemporary Critical Studies) from Goldsmiths, University of London, in 2007 and will soon receive her MFA Visual Arts from Columbia University in the City of New York in 2020.

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