Re-Experiencing Waves

2018 | Exhibition, Installation & Workshop | Northern Rivers Community Gallery (Australia)


We were selected as one of the funded artists to take part in the artist-in-residence programme in Ballina, Australia. Several collaborative workshops were organised for/ with the community to co-examine the (future) status of the water and the environment in the city. All the art deliverables from the activities were presented in form of an installation at the end of the project. Part of the exhibits was dismantled and restyled into giveaway souvenirs as a present for the residents. 


"Re-Experiencing Waves" Exhibition - Environment Futures (Solo Show)

Date: 28 - 30 September 2018

Venue: Engine Room @ Ignite Studios, Northern Rivers Community Gallery, Ballina, Australia

Artist: UUendy Lau


Artist: UUendy Lau

Artwork: Re-Experiencing Waves

Medium: Interactive Installation, Kinetic Installation, Collage

Size: 8 x 8 x 4 (H) m

Materials: Fabric, Clay, Found threads, Motors, Wire, Guidebooks, Canvas, Used plastic packaging

Being born and raised in a coastal city Hong Kong, artist UUendy Lau shares a different view on what she saw and experienced in another city by the ocean, Ballina. She loves sitting by the water, observing and listening to the motion of the current. She reads the colour, pays attention to the shapes and wonders the resonance. She is moved by the harmony of the city created by the river. It demonstrates a tremendous contrast to her hometown which is filled up by skyscrapers, noise and discontentment. She had once been disconnected with water but she seems to have found the attachment back in Ballina. The coexistence between humans and water appears to be an endless subject to be continuously reviewed and appreciated. The apparently ceaseless waves thus act as a reminder of continuous balance, strength and energy from nature. UUendy Lau questions the dissimilar impressions on water from various perspectives and explores the curiosity of the neighbourhood, the aboriginal heritage and the culture through different art experiences. Residing in an unfamiliar district, she takes the opportunity to re-experience and re-connect one of the most beautiful and inspiring natural phenomena - waves.

Design: The curation consists of an exhibition that includes three installations, a series of collaborative workshops with the community, as well as a giveaway-scheme restyling the exhibits after the show as free presents for the local residents.


Being her first time to be in Australia, UUendy Lau is deeply intrigued by the calmness and impact of the water along Ballina. She finds the waves exceptionally healing and empowering. As an artist and illustrator, she likes to document her encounters on canvas, at the same time transforming the reality into another interesting visual language to express her thoughts. "Making Waves" provides an alternative experience to approach surfing with imagination and new rhythms. It is an interactive experience that offers an immersive simulation of surfing along the new medium of waves co-created with the local community. It is a family/community-friendly installation welcoming visitors to sit and lie down under the waves to explore a new surfing journey. 


‘Between Waves’ is an experimental visual projection that plays with colourful images to stimulate one’s fantasy on the Ballina neighbourhood and beyond. It displays a communal collection of whimsical scenarios surrounded by waves in near future and challenges our pre-existing concepts of different subjects happening between waves in the ocean. It carries out experiments to seek a balance between space and content when both generating the artworks and presenting that to the audience. A-collage-on-collages curates a new angle of reading the visual stories while leaving rooms to continue and personalise the narratives. "Between Waves" connects vibrant colours back to monochrome words and sentences that open even more directions and possibilities of thoughts and fantasy.


Whale watching is one of the highlighted events in Ballina. ‘Beneath Waves’ takes inspiration from the activity as well as the characteristics and motion of whales. Miniatures of whale tails are powered by kinetic motors and computer programmes and will spin in an unusual yet interesting pattern that reflects the vividness and behaviour of whales in Ballina. It invites the audience to take a closer look at the whales around the Ballina waters and thus to give more thoughts to the marine life under waves. 


A series of collaborative and interactive workshops were facilitated for/with the community to conduct creative research and multi-disciplinary investigation on the future and potential of Ballina water and the surrounding environment. The art deliverables of all workshops had become part of the resources to construct the final installations.

Venue: Northern Rivers Community Gallery, Australia

Artist: UUendy Lau

Participation: Free

Workshop 1.0 - Making Waves: Participants were guided to create unique wave patterns on canvas with tools, curiosity and imagination. The workshop encouraged the audience to observe waves from another perspective, this time being undersea. The illustrated canvas was on display suspended from the ceiling of the exhibition room.

Workshop 2.0 - Between Waves: Participants were instructed to create interesting collages out of the quirky photos and leaflets distributed by the Ballina Visitor Centre. They then described the artwork in 5 simple but poetic sentences narrating a new story from a different perspective. It served as an inspirational photo album for them to envision the future river and ocean around Ballina.  

Workshop 3.0 - Beneath Waves: Miniature of whale tails were made using clay and cardboard during the workshop. Participants had a chance to watch and simulate ‘whales’ in a new location, scale and setting. The innovative experience got them to imagine and wonder the unseen and undiscovered conditions beneath the waves. 


At the end of the exhibition and installation, exhibits were dismantled and turned into several giveaway items including placemats, table runners and decorative wall hanging displayed at the Northern Rivers Community Gallery and distributed to the community for free.


The Northern Rivers Community Gallery (NRCG) is privileged to be housed in the historic former Ballina Municipal Council Chambers. Built in 1927, Ballina Shire Council renovated this building in 2007 to the highest standard in lighting, climate control and security. The building now provides an exceptional space for patrons to enjoy exhibitions and other public programs. As a community gallery, distinct from a regional or commercial artistic institution, the NRCG is driven by the principles of access, equity and participation for local artists and local audiences, while striving for the highest standards of programming. (Text by NRCG)



Ballina Advocate Newspaper (Australia)
Date: 10 Oct 2018

ArtsNorthernRivers (Australia)
Date: 26 Sep 2018       Link: Here


A selective documentation of the project preparation, an invited lecture at the Southern Cross University and the encounters in the Residency.

(Artist Lecture at Southern Cross University on 19 Sep 2018)