Artist Studio: Lewis Lau

What is your art practice about?

I always experience loneliness and insecurity in different stage of life, just like most of us nowadays; and I transform such feelings into oil painting.  I paint from photographs which I find suitable momentarily, but instead of copying them directly, I have chosen only the elements that are important to my feeling or memory, and captured the space with a symbolic object to represent the strolling life in the city.

Waiting for nothing, 2010, Oil on canvas, 54x96cm
Waiting for nothing, 2010, Oil on canvas, 54x96cm

Why do you make paintings?

Many people, after entering the society, have forgotten that they have once dreamed and once have something they loved to do; I think this is pathetic.

“I don’t want to live with regrets; I am passionate about making paintings – why shouldn’t I keep making them?”

Phonebooth I, 2012, Oil on canvas, 54x96cm
Phonebooth I, 2012, Oil on canvas, 54x96cm

So how did you begin your art journey?

I got used to the free and unconstrained working style during my university years, it encouraged my creations; therefore I stayed like this after I graduated. I think that marked the beginning of my art journey.

How does art affect your life?

“Creation is a process of self discovery and realisation.”

It makes me understand more about what I care most.  I have paid more attention to my surroundings and it has positive impact to both my works and life.

What is your biggest hurdle during the creative process? 

Probably my lack of concentration – I easily got distracted by the outside world when I am working, for example the sound outside studio or the unlimited information from the internet.  It is rather difficult for me to get into the working status. Deadline actually works for me, it speeds me up. And then I realised I have the impulse to create every time I visited an exhibition, and it motivates me to work faster.

Is there something you wish could happen in real life?

I really would like to live in Nice, a city in France where Chagall and Matisse lived.  I’ve been there a few years ago and hope I could live or work there.

Who is your favourite local artist?

Zhou Jin, my professor, I’ve learned a lot from him.

“I wish I could travel to the past to witness history”

Lewis’ Studio 


About Lewis Lau

Lewis Lau (b.1988) is born and based in Hong Kong. He graduated from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Department of Fine Arts (BA in 2010 and MFA in 2012).


Favorite book: Catcher in the Rye

Favorite movie: Memento

Favorite cartoon characters: Hiro Kunimi (国見 比呂) in H2

Favorite place: Star Ferry Pier

Most admired person: My Parents


Postscript On a 33°C afternoon I visited Lewis' studio, the artist kept apologising for not turning on the air-con and explained he tried his best to keep his daily life environmental friendly.  Actually I was too distracted by the cute Leopard cats and wasn't aware of the heat.

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