Heidi Lau


glazed ceramics
11 1/2 x 5 x 11 inches

It’s extremely important to me that my work is complex enough on a surface level for people to get something from it without the history. I think that’s why I insist on the handmade nature of the piece… Like when you scratch into clay, I really feel like something gets transferred that we’re able to see on a gut level without knowing the story behind it. – Heidi Lau

Heidi Lau bases her twisting, and darkly inviting, ceramics on mythological landscapes and figures, which she imbues with her own energy. She draws her subject matter from her memories and those of her family who moved to Macau from communist China in the 1950s to continue practicing their religion. Taoist traditional narratives, like the 18 levels of hell for this body of work, appear throughout her oeuvre. For her Mountain of Knives series, jagged spines growing from the cool, sinuous base illustrate the setting for one of the levels of hell, where a body would be thrown on the knife-covered mountains over and over for eternity. Raised in Macau, Lau currently lives in New York.