Born in Peru, Montreal based artist Manuel Lau works on oil paintings and graphic arts. In his art works, it is the multiplicity of his images of contorted and grotesque species and things that bring him most attention. Tropical insects, domestic Latin American animals, human beings, pre-historical fishes, exotic vegetables and plants, are equated with daily goods such as bicycles, helmets, gloves, umbrellas , and are assembled on antique-like embellished paintings panels. Those beguiling forms in Lau’s Época & Era series shows however subtle historical tracing, religious doctrine, philosophical musing, and forays into profanity.
The mix-up of the elements in the world has caused culture and life to lose their essential significance. A huge hypocritical net wraps up all souls. How can anyone of us be free from it?
There is no boundary between human and substance on Lau’s canvases – man, llamas, trees and cactus, crabs or poppies… all are bound and drawn together – all the forms are integrated by infinite souls; in which, like cultural and historical sediments, permits every spirit to wonder, create and be self-conscious, self-proclaim, be silence, or be at a loss.
Art steams from life. Life follows the laws of nature. The world evolves from complement and replacement of Ying & Yang. The artist is perceptively conscious about the origin of life. Art should not be a citation out of context, not moved out from vision of life.
George Baselitz, the renowned German Neo-expressionist, used to apply a negative approach – composing and placing all images upside down, letting painterly forms and external impressions of painting, but not its connotations, speak for itself. In human history, we are justified to make a breakthrough in dull frame of paintings over the past thousands of years and to let creativity embody wisdom of the present time beyond its mode.
There is never only one way of life. Like turning-down windows, roofs and walls could be all passages. In most cases, the artist brings out phased projects building up visual languages with multiple orientations on the same painterly surface – paintings are brought out by reverse symmetry at first, followed by Ying-Yang, orientation and chains of symmetry. Lau’s art is half created by his own hands, and half created improvised from accidentality (God’s will). Such an approach echoes an expression and phenomenon of life that is unexpected, and full of wisdom and amazement beyond imagination.
NMTV Vernisage Manuel Lau (2010)
Celebrating Manuel Lau’s 2010 exhibition at Han Art, the artist gives a short interview to Stephi Bauduhin from the Nuevo Mundo Television, introducing himself as a Chinese artist who grew up in Latin-America and now resides in Canada, and his work. The interview is in Spanish only.