Brian Lau

Lau’s work is about articulating the paradox of exploring relationships with the tool of photographic evidence. His work is predicated upon the idea that in the attempts of depiction, we are forced to acknowledge the entanglement of our sincere desires crossed with the artificial and sometimes fictitious means by which we communicate this.

All images Courtesy by the artist

Typically illustrated in book form, Lau combines diary documentary photography, archival letters, documents, photographs, and appropriated notes to create depictions that embrace paradox, generational relationships, and tactile explorations. His work lies at the intersection of documentation photography as both evidence and perversion, and the paradox of navigating between the two.

“The Skull-Sized Kingdom” depicts an antithetical road trip diary made over 5 years, comprised of images from historical and culturally significant locations in the United States, as shown through the imitation of those events and places. Amidst 4 week-to-month long trips across the states, I photographed in search of the fabled American epic as shown to me in the pictures of Frank, Sternfeld, Shore, Kline and Billet, and Hatleberg, but was left with a simulacrum experience in large part. The pictures instead became a response to this, an epic “dead end,” or in the parallel with David Foster Wallace, a “skull-sized kingdom,” a solipsistic worldview materialized into the same space it hopes to preserve.

Continuing this narrative on a personal scale, “Blue is What Remains” reveals a further paradox within an emerging relationship. This project is currently on-going, and is an archive of phone pictures made of my partner.

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