In Detour: From the street of NYC to the Americas, former student of and now lecturer at Parsons School of Design Eric Lau wants to take viewers on a journey through the streets. Developing his love for design and art by creating things such as the school magazine and tickets for events at his high school in Kowloon, Lau realised when attending university open days that he wanted to pursue a career where he would not have to wear a suit and tie.
Unusually, he was accepted into the prestigious New York school thanks to his portfolio of projects for school and friends, and initially found the move from Hong Kong somewhat lonely. “In Hong Kong, I had always been with friends, like 95% of the time, and when I got to New York, I was always on my own; so it was just very different,” he remarks. To remedy this, Lau got a new camera and would spend the weekends walking around the streets of the city, discovering his new home from behind the lens.
Citing the spontaneity and inclusiveness of both street art and street photography as what lured him into the scene, the artist has travelled across the globe, documenting what he sees. While first starting out with a manual camera, and using this for many years, he is now working with an iPhone camera too – adapting technologies to suit the landscape in which we live.
When an open call for artists went out from Hong Kong art studio Studio 83, Lau jumped at the opportunity to show some of his pieces in the city where his love affair with art began. His show consists of pictures from both New York City and his travels to locations such as Panama, all shot on his mobile phone, and all capturing the essence of the street. “I try to travel as much as possible, like, those are the times – with the stimulus of the new place and culture – that are just a great time to do photography.”
“Street photography wasn’t easy at first, because you have to approach strangers, but I can’t tell you how many great conversations I have had.”
The exhibition runs until 15 January, so be sure to head up and take a look. You can also follow Eric’s further travels and snaps on Instagram @ericlau_street
Venue: Studio 83, 13F Winning Centre, 46-48 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong
Date: Until 15 January, 2016
Phone: +852 2523 3852