On-Yau Lui
b. Hong Kong, Australian
Based in Berlin since 2008

Object design, installations and interactive media works.
An attentive arrangement of fragmented details, light and space, exploring human sensitivity and haptic perception.

B.Architecture (Hons), UNSW, Australia
Contemporary Jewellery Design, College of Fine Arts, UNSW, Australia

Architecture, Art & Design
2018 – present
Freelance design consultant, Berlin
2013 – 2015
Interior design team member, Mary Lou Design
2008 – 2011
Founder and co-ordinator of Rooftops Studios, Independent Artists Initiative, Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin
2001 – 2007
Project Architect at X Squared Design and AVA Architects, Sydney
2001 – 2004
Maker’s Space, jeweller’s studio, Sydney
2000 – 2001
Newsletter Editor, Jewellers and Metalsmiths Group of Australia – NSW, Australia
Workshop assistant to Viviana Torun Bülow-Hübe upon her visit as a guest speaker and artist in residency at College of Fine Arts, UNSW, Sydney

Selections & Awards
By invitation of  the Australian Embassy Berlin to perform at Ambassadors Information Day, Lichtenstein: Sound.Transmission.LightRichard Byers, On-Yau Lui, music by Clayton Thomas at Theatre am Kirchplatz, Schaan, Lichtenstein
Finalist, City of Sydney’s By George! Laneway Art 2010GAFFA project, Byers & Lui
Silver objects published in 1000 Rings, Lark Books, 2004
Co-recipient of Australia Council Grant for New Work
Artexpress, Sydney, Australia  – Ceramic vases displayed at David Jones flagship store
Artexpress, Sydney, Australia  – Ceramic sculptures: final round selection

Select Projects
Wenn Das Licht die Dunkelheit besiegt – Idealight. Under the bridge, Friedrichstrasse, Berlin
Around the World in 30 Days – The Ballery, Charlottenburg, Berlin.  10 – 14 July, 2015

Träum Weiter – Pankow Ballhaus, Berlin
Sound.Transmission.Light – Byers, Lui, music by KYOKA & Isabel Pichler
Vernissage and finissage performances & exhibition: 7 – 13 December, 2012
Ambassador Information Day, Lichtenstein: 18 June, 2012
Sound.Transmission.Light – Byers, Lui, music by Clayton Thomas at Theater am Kirchplatz, Schaan, Lichtenstein
Australian Embassy, Berlin.  Sound.Transmission.Light with Richard Byers & Clayton Thomas
Vernissage performance & exhibition: 21 October, 2011 – 28 March, 2012
Sound.Transmission.Light – Surroundings 5.1.3  (surface) – The Edge, Brisbane
Sound.Transmission.Light – Byers, Lui, music by The Mammoths  -St. Peters Warehouse Studio, Sydney
Sound.Transmission.Light – Byers, Lui, music by John Maddox  – Sydney Adventist Hospital, Sydney
Sound.Transmission.Light – Byers, Lui, music by Yukiko Tsuda, Mayumi Ishida, Marimi Morito – Nonoyes, Tokyo

Rooftops Studios, Berlin
Außerdem – Rooftops, Berlin (co-ordinator, artist)
Two – Rooftops, Berlin (co-ordinator)
Lost & Found – An evening of Short Film, Dance & Art – Rooftops, Berlin  (co-ordinator)
Traces – Rooftops, Berlin (co-ordinator, artist)
Nine on the Line – Rooftops, Berlin (co-ordinator, artist)
Open Studio Show – Rooftops, Berlin (co-ordinator, artist)

Group Exhibitions
Charlama Depot Sarajevo
Installation –  Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
2009Temporary View of Berlin – Artwork Window Project, Sydney
Studio Exhibition – Frohsinnbergprojekt, Berlin
Open Studio – Frohsinnbergprojekt, Berlin
– Knot Gallery & Aki’s Indian Restaurant, Woolloomooloo, Sydney
– Exhibition of invited ex-Pyrmont Studios tenants and JMGA-NSW co-ordinating committee members.  Pyrmont Studios, Sydney
Knot Gallery
window show – by invitation.   Australia Council for the Arts, Sydney
– Knot Gallery, Surry Hills, Sydney2003
by Six Contemporary Jewellery and Object Designers
A travelling exhibition funded by Australia Council Grant for New Works at:
Gallery onefivesix, Surry Hills, Sydney, NSW
1000º, Avalon, NSW
Zu Designs, Adelaide, South Australia
– Gallery onefivesix, Surry Hills, Sydney
Wearable Objects for End of Year show, Whitehouse School of Fashion, Sydney
– Knot Gallery, Surry Hills, Sydney
Violence in Autumn Fashion Exhibition
– Knot Gallery, Surry Hills, Sydney
– Gallery onefivesix, Surry Hills, Sydney
How Big is Small?
– First Draft Gallery, Sydney
Hung. Shot. Dyed – Violence in Autumn. A Fringe Fashion Festival event– Knot Gallery, Sydney
Lapel – Gallery onefivesix, Surry Hills, Sydney
– Gallery onefivesix, Surry Hills, Sydney
We are one
– Paper show, Gallery onefivesix, Surry Hills, Sydney
– Bachelor of Architecture Graduation Exhibition at Jones Bay Warf, Sydney
Ant Expedition
– Select art works by architecture students, University of New South Wales

Interview by Laure Devaugeles, ALOUD., 20 Dec, 2010

Radio Interview about Rooftops Studios: Phelines’s Art Show, Twen FM,  88.4FM Berlin  & 90.7FM Potsdam

Silver objects published in 1000 Rings. Lark Books, 2004

Review by Todd Turner. Craft Arts International (p98-100) May, 2003
Jewellery just like Sculptures, Veronica Apap, The Glebe Weekly, 15-22 March, 2003
QANTAS In-Flight Magazine, 5/2003
Made Domain Magazine, Sydney Morning Herald, 1 May, 2003

Above left: Craft Arts International Magazine, May, 2003
Above right: 1000 Rings, Lark Books, 2004
Top: Profile picture by R. Byers


CLICK HERE for an in-depth interview by Laure Devaugeles, ALOUD., 2010


Exhibition review by Todd Turner
Craft Arts International (p98-100) May, 2003

The human body, in both form and movement, is possibly the most intimate and subversive arena for art.  The body transforms into the stage for art and design, where meaning and expression are formed by the contrasting elements of the body and a piece of Jewellery.  Jewellery allows the artist to communicate on numerous levels, encompassing the organic and synthetic, reflecting the natural and the cultural.  The realization of individual expression is both philosophical and psychological, the palette utilizing myriad materials and techniques.  Success of any work requires an understanding of the chosen materials and their relationship to theme and/ or subject.  The meaning of an individual piece is created and altered by the choice of materials and form. 

In 2003 six contemporary Sydney-based jewelers exhibited a new diverse body of work in “Made” at Gallery onefivesix in Surry Hills, NSW. The re-named makers’ space (formally known as Ipso Facto) is home to Nicola Bannerman, Elizabeth Bower, Francine Haywood, Pip Keane, On Lui and Emma Wood.   Within the approach to these works, it is clear that even though the artists share a common studio, each maker has a clearly established her own separate identity.  All of these artists have an eclectic history of Jewellery design.  Each presents a personal and, at times, political interpretation of the role of Jewellery in contemporary art.  On Lui and Emma Wood both have experience in architectural design.  The former a graduate and practicing architect; the latter has studies landscape architecture.  Both confess that the study of architecture plays an important role in how they perceive contemporary Jewellery and its design.  Although their work is independent of one another, they have a shared ideology and believe that Jewellery has a unique ability, as well as convey notions of existential and intrapsychic.  A piece of Jewellery not only adorns the body, but becomes part of its structure and extends its form and meaning.  The interaction is intimate and affirms identity, unlike architecture, which entails the urban environments that occupy and surround the body, giving a sense of being separate from and alienated by structure ad design. 

The work of On Lui utilizes synthetic and organic materials in variedcombinations that represent both natural and cultural themes.    Oftenthe amalgamation of material (synthetic/organic) produces a synthesis in whichthe natural and cultural are indistinguishable. In works titled Déjà vu, Wing Nut Brace and Reminiscence, On Lui uses discarded industrial objects, such aswashers and wing nuts, to inject new life into reconceptualised skeletal forms,a theme she revisits in Finnish Pinswhere fish fins are used in isolation, suggesting love of natural form.  The exposure of skeletal forms in these works(where wing nuts reference the vertebrae and its movement) provoke the viewerwith engaging questions about prescribed moral values and re-evaluatingprinciples of aesthetic beauty.  Each ofthese works echoes the duality of life, encompassing the animate and theinanimate, life and death, beauty and repulsion, fear and courage. 

On Lui’s T-section II installation, measuring 2.3 x 1.6 meters, consists of repetitive modular units whose linkages evolved from its original form, a teabag.  The rectilinear shape of the teabags, being many, are assembled side-by-side so that gravity dictates the fall of the form, creating pattern on a grand scale.  The juxtaposition of natural tea leaves and the manufactured paper teabags sustain a consistent theme in On Lui’s work of the relationship between the synthetic and the organic.  The result arouses a sense of questioning and transcends the ordinary into the extraordinary.