This residency supported first stage research into Joseph Lau‘s new project Elephants.
In this project Joseph couples personal history with research into the legacy of elephants being used as beasts of burden in the logging and timber industries in South East Asia. As well as being motivated to engage with histories, cultures, identities, ecologies and activism, Joseph seeks to lay foundations for this new project and ask the question: ‘Who is the Elephant?’.
The project explores resource industries, Western influence, obsolescence, and the cultural and socio-economic impact these factors have on communities .
Elephants adds to Joseph’s ongoing research interests, including economic theory, artistic and cultural identity (including migrant identity), trade history and globalisation, value systems, and colonialism.
Joseph worked with renowned artist Tony Yap as a virtual provocateur/ mentor.
Joseph also hosted an online Sunday Supplement on Sunday 14 February 2021, which explored his research and concepts further.