DRAMAS OF THE HUMAN HEART
Hiu Tung Lau
- Fri 01-02-2019 to Sat 16-02-2019
Anita Chan Lai-ling Gallery
Dramas of the human heart by Hunter Wu Translation by Leanne Ma
One day, I was walking clockwise along the outer edge of the number zero, and came across a man walking on all fours. He had two candles placed on his back and looked like a camel with a lowered head. As there were no camels in this city, the man’s action was significant.
After all, he had created an entirely new species. The camel became the city mascot, and the whole city was proud because of it. But when I drew closer, it turned out to be two people speaking in thick accents, holding a large sack of onions towards the crowd. The crowd watched them and then started to cry. And what was within the zero? Well, there was once a tenant who piled up some stones inside it, and gave them names one-by-one. There were a total of 20 stones - each named after cosmetic brands. As for me, I was a piece of chocolate. I puffed on a cigarette and admired the rocks in detail, one to 20. It got hotter and hotter inside the zero. I wasn’t sure whether I would still exist in two hours, but I believed the stones would. I couldn’t feel the cigarette anymore. I was left with nothing but my eyes. The stones were still there, and I continued to look at them. All that was left inside the zero were the stones and my eyes looking at them. It was such a wet viewing experience, and the emotions were still running. Stories usually happen under such circumstances. The new tenant was very tall, and his boots, when put upside down, could hold up the whole zero. The zero was so interesting, inside and out. The next zero was just around the corner; I wonder what would happen next.
Hiu Tung Lau solo exhibition Text by Tiffany Leung
Hiu Tung Lau’s (Hong Kong b. 1985) work has an uncanny ability to capture the intimacy and delicacy of human emotions through subtly evocative compositions. Appearing at once abstract and figurative, her paintings are often elusive of descriptive narrative but speaks poetically through simple shapes and brushstrokes.
This series of work features a selection of small-scale paintings produced from 2016 to 2018. Created solely in oil on canvas and paper, Lau’s work tends to inhabit small surfaces no larger than 42 by 52 cm. Though similar in size and style, each painting is distinguished by its presence and state, embodying a character of its own that is as emotional as much as it is tonal. Each small frame holds a window into the passage of mind Lau was in when she created the work. She sees painting as a meditative act — the process of lines, colours, and forms coming together largely guided by intuition rather than by following a pre-existing plan. The forms she paints, which range from gestural ovoids and rectilinear shapes to abstract depiction of landscape and ordinary objects, present to us a raw sense of intimacy and vulnerability, drawing viewers into her meditative ambiguity.
Hiu Tung Lau lives and works in London, UK. She graduated from The Royal College of Art (MA Painting) in 2017 and previously studied Fine Art BA at The School of Visual Arts, New York, US. Recent solo exhibition and two-person shows include ‘It’s okay to crop the sky’, Alice Folker Gallery, Copenhagen (2018); ‘The Snapdragon’ Dyson Gallery, London (2017); Group exhibitions include ‘Ten^2 Inches’, Hong Kong Fringe Club, Hong Kong (2018); ‘Sentient Objects – Some worthwhile lies’, AMP Gallery, London (2018); ‘Surface music: quintet for walls & floor’, Gallery 64a, Whitstable (2018); ‘Interval of Stale Time’ Lychee One Gallery, London (2017); ‘The Snapdragon’ Yermilov Centre, Kharkiv (2017), ‘Snaps is the name of the game, or a few words on secret writings’, Barbican Arts Trust, London (2017); ‘Close, Closer, Fading’, Lychee One Gallery, London (2017); ‘Dialogue’, Jockey Club Creative Centre, Hong Kong (2016)
Tiffany Leung is the curator of Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art in Manchester, UK and co-founder of international research and commissioning platform Itinerant Assembly. She holds a master’s degree from the Royal College of Art and contribute regularly to exhibition catalogues and publications.