Lau’s fascination with iconography is prevalent in all her work. Although humour-driven, Lau’s works are highly pensive and curious renderings of what is often considered “common knowledge”. Consistently themed around artifice, perceived ideals and expectations, and guilt, her works are cynical expressions about mass-production and “what ifs”. Interaction between the viewer and the work is crucial. Whether by size, medium, or mechanism Lau’s work entice viewers to touch, examine, and to participate.
Joyce Lau is a photo-based artist from Toronto. She is a graduate of Ryerson University’s Image Arts, photography studies programme. She has exhibited in numerous galleries in Toronto and New York.
"While working on stencils as a personal project, I discovered the beauty in the stencil itself, and decided to produce this series based on the positive, rather than the negative. Utilizing a fine blade, I have brought forth iconic images from the fibres of a diverse range of decorative papers.
Each detail that is extracted from the paper creates a void that unveils a blackened background. Inspired by that hollowness, I wanted to devote my subject matter to voids of the human heart. From the silent cries of a child burnt by napalm, to the execution of an innocent man, to a woman’s tender desire for a baby, I considered the play between subject, technique and the design of the paper.
This series began as tributes to prominent women in history, but expanded to further realms. The idea for the World’s Fair pieces sprang from the paper itself. While searching for unique wrapping paper on eBay, I came across this amazing vintage 1965 World’s Fair paper, and the tragic imagery began to flood my mind with those words: “world’s fair”.
This body of work wrestles with the many layers of the human heart. These cut-outs are an exploration of hidden triumphs, tragedies, the multiplicity of words, and the intriguing quality of darkness.