Lithos Sarkophagos Press Release

Guttenberg Arts Gallery is pleased to present Lithos Sarkophagos  a solo exhibition of works by Heidi Lau, currently an Artist in Residence, on view May 9 through June 1, 2015.

Heidi Lau’s work creates an alternate world through excavating fragmented narratives from personal and collective memories that highlight the archaic and invisible and recreate what has been lost to natural or human causes. Lau has worked exhaustively with a variety of traditional mediums including printmaking, ceramics and bookmaking, where printed works on paper function as proposition and contemplative manifestations of darkness and an invisible order of the universe. Lau’s geometric forms, inspired by magic charts and mandalas are juxtaposed with tusche renderings and acid washes resembling nebulas or alchemy. These created artifacts take the form of various objects of remembrance – towers, funeral monuments and fossilized creatures that are disintegrating or infested that compose the history of a mystical world by suggesting its existence and decline.

Being from Macau, a colony of Portugal during its transition into a Chinese province and then an immigrant in the United States, Heidi Lau’s work further examines the anomic nature of history and cultural migration. As well as delving into the nostalgia for collective memories that have inspired to recreate and highlight what she believe is crucial to her identity. In her ceramics works, the flexibility and strength of clay allows her to experiment and create pieces that are a surprise even to herself. Additional methods of scratching, scribbling and engraving the surface of pieces form works that are texturally rich in details, surfaces and that embody memories of many forces. These memories range from the observing colonial houses and monuments from her own childhood and their decay, while strange and wild plants began to take over.
Most of these structures are now demolished or unrecognizable, and thus recreating becomes the only way Lau is connecting to these structures, place and their history.

Heidi Lau grew up in Macau and currently lives and works in Ridgewood, NY. She received her BFA from New York University in 2008. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally; Macao Museum of Art (Macao, China), Wave Hill, Newhouse Center for Contemporary, TSA New York, Rush Corridor Gallery and Aljira Center for Contemporary Art, among others. She has participated in the Bronx Museum Artist In the Market Place Program, Center for Book Arts Workspace Residency, Snug Harbor Artist Residency Program and Emerging Artist Fellowship at Socrates Sculpture Park.