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tom lau

tom is a photographer and a teacher and feels really awkward writing about himself in the third person. he is a 1.5th generation chinese-american by way of colombia. tom grew up and lives on the south side of chicago.

tom photographs mostly at night and mostly with a view camera. the more lonely and disquiet a space is, the more attractive it is. his work explores the emptiness of urban environments, and the grit and grime of abandonment; acutely, his work is about finding hope, love, and optimism in these ambiences.

tom teaches with love and humor. it would make tom really happy if his students turned their film in on time. he challenges students to think critically, but with empathy, and to never accept contentment in their voice. his teaching style exemplifies failing and experimenting, and growing and learning in the rough moments.