Cassian Lau was born in Hong Kong on April 26, 1968. His interest in art started at an early age
when his sisters gave him stacks of paper to draw and keep him busy.
At the age of 6, Cassian moved to Toronto, Canada. He learned English by reading American comic books
and watching American television. As such, Cassian acquired a love of North American popular culture.
This love of pop culture would extend into other nationals which would later strongly influence his artwork.
Canada provided a strong educational system that helped Cassian develop a lifelong curiosity to keep learning.
Canada also instilled a sense of multiculturalism in Cassian that is exemplified by the various references to different cultures
and styles including influences from Australian and Canadian aboriginal art, European artistic heritage, American popular culture,
Asian art, manga, etc. Canada's multicultural population has allowed Cassian's work to mix various themes and influences
from all over the world.
Growing up in a western country had Cassian questioning his identity as an ethnic Hong Kong Chinese and as a Canadian
from an early age. A yearning to learn more about Chinese culture stemmed from this conflict of west versus east
which would later become a merging of western and eastern images, cultures, iconography, words, literature, music,
and many other facets of both sides in his work.
Cassian attended York Mills Collegiate in Toronto and obtained his degrees in Fine Arts and Business dministration at York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Upon the completion of his studies, Cassian returned to Hong Kong to be with his parents.
He also divided his time to help his wife in the fashion retail business by overseeing the design and applying his artistic talent
to the business. During his stint, he had the opportunity to work with the world’s top designers and artists.
He also visited many contemporary art museums and galleries in the world which helped fuelled his love of all arts.
Although Cassian enjoyed his creative role in the fashion industry, he reflected on his role in life, his purpose, and the value of his work.
In 2008 he decided to return full-time to his first love which is painting. He wants to be more vocal about social issues
and he thinks it is best to express his ideology using canvas as his medium.
Cassian's art encompasses many styles and influences. He finds inspiration from any and everywhere.
Although Cassian's work can be considered Pop art, the elements in the work and the messages he tries to convey go far
beyond this categorization.
Cassian's work also includes strong social messages. As a painter, he records and expresses
what he feels are social injustices in the world. In many of his works, he quotes many ancient scholars extolling their wisdom.
It is important to him that the ethics and morals of his Chinese heritage be refreshed and reminded again for all of us today.
We must “care more, love more and help more”. However, Cassian is the first to admit that he is by no means a virtuous
or sanctimonious man. He knows his shortcomings and “he will strive to be better, if even just a little, day by day”.