Michael Lau

Artist

 

Loved equally by devotees of art and toys, Michael Lau has blazed a trail by bridging the two worlds

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Michael Lau has created a whole new category of contemporary art. The artist, affectionately known as the Godfather of Designer Toys, has consciously striven to break down the walls between the fields of toys and fine art. He turned the former into the latter when he became the first artist to make collectible vinyl figurines—a trend that has influenced major artists such as Kaws and Takashi Murakami.


Lau’s love of toys was forged during his childhood in 1970s and 80s Hong Kong, when the city was a global toy manufacturing centre, and his own toy designs started with his iconic Gardener series from the late 1990s, based on a GI Joe figure. He caused a particularly big splash with his exhibition Collect them All! at Christie’s Hong Kong in 2018 and Shanghai in 2019. His work has a particularly strong following among hip hop and skateboarding cultures, and he has worked with brands including Puma, Nike, Fendi and A Bathing Ape.

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Michael Lau is also a painter and sculptor; he started his artistic career painting and has returned to it in recent years.

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