Lives & works: London, UK.
Jamie Lau is a London–based artist and photographer whose work explores ideas concerning mortality through a play between light, dark and physical or reflected space, creating an anticipatory symbolism counter-posed by a quality of drama and uncertainty.
Inspired by literature, religion, personal history and the media, Lau’s work is created through an allegorical reworking of these source materials, symbolising ideas of the unknown. Each allegorical retelling of a story is imbued with a sense of misunderstanding, acknowledging the impossibility of adequately representing such complex narratives through abstraction.
Betting Shop (Red), 2009 was originally a large-format work produced in the title year. It has been reproduced in smaller format as an edition for Field Editions. The image was originally shot on Cambridge Heath Road in East London as part of a series: The Dark Ages, created between 2006 and 2008. In this series, Lau photographed various London nightscapes, focusing on ubiquitous fast-food restaurants, taxi-ranks, betting shops, sex-shops and saunas, creating a series about the ‘familiar’ which powerfully conveyed a sense of inertia and loss and a sense of an urban hinterland.
The series was developed further whilst on a residency at the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art in Manchester during 2010 and formed the foundations for a presentation of work at Open Eye Gallery’s Ebb and Flow exhibition in 2014, documenting Liverpool’s Chinatown. Part of this show was acquired for the Government Art Collection in 2015.
Lau has held solo exhibitions, including Respire, Centro de Cultura Antigo Instituto, Gigon, Spain (2004) and a two -person show, TEOTWAWKI at Fold Gallery, London (2010). His participation in group shows include Art Interzonas, at Palacio de Sástago, Zaragoza, Spain (2006); Knights Move, House of Fairy Tales, at Tate Modern, London and Creekside Open, (Selected by Mark Wallinger) at APT Gallery, London (2009); Anthology at Charlie Smith Gallery, London (2012); Alter at Vegas Gallery, London (2012); Ebb and Flow at Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool and Tipping Point at the Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester (2014). Awards include Axis Web MA Stars, 2012 (selected by Matt Roberts) and 2009 – 2012 AHRC (Arts & Humanities Research Council)
All proceeds from the sale of this edition go to Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool, in support of the next generation of talent in northern photography.
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