Maria Lau

Hispanic Heritage Month Spotlight: Meet Cuban-Chinese Photographer Maria Lau

Maria Lau began using photography as a means of documentation and visually writing history. Her artwork then expanded into multidisciplinary photographic based storytelling; referencing history, memory and dream states, while employing both analog and digital photography.

Based on her American-Cuban-Chinese heritage, she explores themes of culture, family, history and shared cultural experiences. The materials and techniques used to illustrate narratives range from multi-exposure photography, collage, installation and text.

Maria Lau studied Latin American history and photography at the City University of New York, and The International Center for Photography. Her work can be found in private and permanent collections.

“Cannabis is incredibly helpful for me in the creation process by easing anxiety, pushing through fatigue and staying open to new ideas during the post process of creating images and visualizing multi-narratives and installation work,” says Lau. “Its become an integral part of my creation process and medicine for physical pain.”

Check out a few of Lau’s pieces below:

Untitled, 2017

This photo for me is an example of the intertwined histories of America and Cuba and our uncertain relationship.

Capitolio, 2007

This photo of the Capitolio in Cuba is a reminder of the architectural similarities to our own White House and our shared history.

Calle Cotidiana, 2007

Everyday life in Havana, Cuba


Santera/Lien Fang 1997/2004

One of the first images I took in Cuba of a Santera smoking a cigar. And the second one is a young worker outside a Chinese restaurant in Havana’s chinatown.

For more Maria Lau photography check out:



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