Yam Lau, Between the Past and the Present, still from computer generated animation, 13.5 x 24 inches
Yam Lau is a Hong Kong-born, Toronto-based multimedia artist. His artistic praxis references and engages with Chinese culture and literati practices. Lau’s work explores new expressions of space and time, past and present, fantasy and reality. In his most recent work, the artist uses video and computer-generated animation to re-imagine familiar spaces in varied dimensions and perspectives.
Between Past and Present: Lived Moments in Beijing is an animation still of a computer-generated houseboat/floating studio. The design of the houseboat is derived from motifs of classical Chinese architecture, and modeled after a 17th-century Chinese scholar’s studio. The studio, inside which Lau himself is pictured, is unmoored from the world, floating in time and space. The image blurs fantasy and reality and, in the artist’s words, “is meant to be a personal ideal home – to live ‘out of this world’”.
Lau earned his MFA from the University of Alberta (1997). He has exhibited his work widely both nationally and internationally, including exhibitions at MacLaren Art Centre, Barrie (2019); Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston (2018); Art Museum, University of Toronto, Toronto (2017); Darling Foundry, Montreal (2013); Yuanfen New Media Art Space, Beijing (2009); and YYZ Artists Outlet, Toronto (2008). His work is in the collections of Agnes Etherington Art Centre; Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, University of Toronto; Musée d’art de Joliette; Bank of Montreal; and Royal Bank of Canada. Yam Lau is represented by Christie Contemporary, Toronto. Lau lives and works in Toronto, and is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Visual Art & Art History at York University.