Lau sides with the misfits, for him beauty lies in uniqueness. Even though the market usually prefers cutesy things, he persists in his style. He believes that if people can look at “ugly” things without judgement from a young age, they would not treat them as taboo.
Lau says he was touched when a parent told him the children loved watching his videos. “I was wondering if the animations I am making now will give children a different childhood memory.”
He also now realises that the lessons he learnt at secondary school are actually useful. Chinese literature has built up his sensitivity to words, which helps him to play on so many terms and names with double meanings.
The skill has even come in handy as an addition to his livelihood as he occasionally draws wordplay cards for sale at arts and creative markets around the city.
But even as his path appears to be getting smoother and the future becomes clearer, Lau struggles with a sense that he has missed out on a lot socially. He realises that since becoming an animator six years ago, he rarely does routine things such as shopping or going out with friends to sing karaoke or watch movies. He even points to the cardigan he is wearing, which he says is three years old and has a hole in the armpit.
Producing animation is so time-consuming that Lau feels he no longer talks to people enough. Therefore, he treasures and seizes on the chance to talk with friends, to the extent that they sometimes get annoyed by his verbosity.
The compulsion to talk is also apparent in his interview with Varsity, during which Lau constantly worries that his words may not be understood – often supplementing his answers with the question: “Do you get what I mean?”
To reconnect with the world, Lau is planning to shoot some videos featuring himself, such as a tutorial on drawing. “I would like to try to have more interactions, maybe you give me a topic, I draw it for you instantly online,” he explains. However he still feels a bit shy and nervous about this idea.
No matter what, Lau is clear about his goal – to maintain a life-long devotion to animation. “During my lifetime, I hope to produce a movie for not only Galaman, but all of my characters. Then a more long-term goal would be a theme park like Disneyland.”
Edited by Caleb Ho