Heidi Lau became Green-Wood’s first-ever artist in residence in 2021 and her installation in the Catacombs is a culmination of a year-long exploration of the Cemetery. Her highly textured work in clay, draws on themes of genealogy, ritual, and the posthuman, with sources that include Taoist mythology, burial customs, and the built-environment of Macau (where she spent her formative years). Gardens as Cosmic Terrains is influenced by Lau’s research into the cosmological setting within Chinese gardens, where the arrangement of arches, pathways, and vistas acts as a metaphor for time, space, and matter—as well as a portal to access both memories and the spirit world.
Heidi Lau grew up in Macau, currently lives in Chinatown, Manhattan and works in Ridgewood, Queens. Her ceramic work is often modeled after tokens of remembrance, including ritual objects, funerary monuments, and fossilized creatures. Taoist mythology, folk superstitions, and Macau’s colonial history provide essential source material for her exploration of displacement and nostalgia as the condition of contemporary existence. Lau’s work has been exhibited in local and international institutions including the Museum of Arts and Design, New York; the Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York; the Museum of Chinese in America, New York; the Macau Museum of Art; and others.