Joyce Lau appreciates the joy in working with her hands. Combine that with her love of photography and the outcome is a cut-out technique this photo-based Toronto artist has perfected. Utilizing multiple (50? Just kidding!) shades of gray paper, and one sheet of black, Lau overlays the sheets and hand cuts details out from the papers to create an image that fully and spectacularly resembles a black and white photograph.

Over the years, Lau has elevated this technique to add additional layers and colours to her newer work. Although she works primarily with paper, specifically making those elaborate papercuts, she also experiments with other mediums. Her Series Two label (below) with Collective Arts Brewing is from her “Doily” series.


When asked what inspires Lau’s work, she says:

“It has often crossed my mind that the craft of my work resembles that of a handmade doily…so, I wanted to put forth my rendition of a doily. Other bodies of work have included multiple layers of cut paper ranging in shades to implicate tonal range. My subject matter delves into images of creation and destruction, and where those polar entities intersect in nature and in the realm of the manufactured.”

01. White shining Silver studs (with their nose in flames)

Above: White shining/ Silver studs (with their nose in flames), hand-cut paper, 3 layers, 25×19″, 2010

02. Eminence

03. Genesis

Above left: Eminence, hand-cut paper, 4 layers, 19×25″, 2012
Right: Genesis, hand-cut paper, 3 layers, 25×19″, 2011

06. Crâne de Chèvre au Crépuscule (Goat Skull at Dusk)

Above: Crâne de Chèvre au Crépuscule (Goat Skull at Dusk), hand-cut paper, 3 layers, 19×25″, 2013

04. 1911

Above: 1911, hand-cut paper, 6 layers, wood panel, 30×24″, 2014

Lau’s work consistently highlights her fascinations with culture, current affairs, history, identity, and iconography. This has taken her across the world, exhibiting in Canada, the United States and Europe. She has received grants from the Ontario Arts Council, and recently completed a residency in The Netherlands.

Most recently, Lau constructed an installation called ‘Kanada’ in the Gallery 44 vitrines in fall 2013 based on photographs she took while in Auschwitz. Coming up, she has a piece to be auctioned off at the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery as part of Timeraiser 2014. In addition, she’s presently curating a show at The White House Studio Project for summer 2014, and is also working on a project which has been generously supported by the Ontario Arts Council.

Follow Joyce Lau as she continues to explore various art techniques to create the ideas of her mind on her blog and Facebook. Cheers!

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Collective Arts Brewing