Grace Lau

© Grace Lau, Red

Born in London of Chinese parentage, I am a photographer, artist, writer and lecturer. I have exhibited widely, including at the National Portrait Gallery and Tate Britain in London, Photofusion London, Turner Contemporary Margate and Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Wales.

My photography explores the diversity of contemporary portraiture. For me, the traditional representational or literal approach is inadequate. I believe that a portrait can reveal many masks beneath the social face of the subject, and making a portrait is a collaborative process of dialogue and interaction with the subject, taking time to shape the final image/s. An element of personal interpretation is important for me, and this is informed by the context in which my subjects live and pose, being the backdrop to the ‘staged’ event between us.

Research is vital in my work and involves a close working relationship with my subjects’ stories. My intent is to raise awareness of stereotyping and prejudices, to encourage questions and debate; and to respond as an artist to social issues. I am particularly drawn to explore the darker areas of our culture, our history, and our society. I find that there seldom are any ultimate answers, only more questions to be raised.

PhotoHastings: Founding Co-Chairperson (retired)

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