Upcoming & current activities

Souvenirs from the Jasmine Café
March 20-June, 2017
SIGHTINGS, Leonard & Ellen Bina Art Gallery
Concordia University (Montréal, QC)

As part of Gendai Gallery's food multiple series, MMMMM...Gendai Kitchen
Project launch: April, 2017

With wings like clouds hung from the sky 大鵬就振翼
June 3 - September 4, 2017
The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (Victoria, BC)



-Longlisted for the Sobey Art Award 2016
-Nominated finalist for the Prix en art actuel du Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec
-My work "Sailing across a vast ocean, 100 000 miles apart II" (2006) is featured on the cover, and my participation as a Québec finalist of the 2010 Sobey Art Prize is mentioned Christina Elgue Martini's article, "La ficcionalización de la Historia en la literatura, el urbanismo y las artes plásticas de Quebec: De la búsqueda de los orígenes a la transnacionalidad y a la globalización contra-hegemónica" in the latest issue of the academic journal, "Revista Culturas y Literaturas Comparadas"


-Artwork published in the September 2015 edition, "Les points cardinaux: l'est" of Éditions d'art le Sabord, No. 101
-Jérôme Delgado. “Infiltrer les clichés: Au Belgo s’exposent trios artistes poussés par le soulèvement culturel.” Le Devoir, February 1, (p.E12)
-Mario Cloutier. “Fusion Culturelles.” La Presse, January 23, (Arts section)


Past activities

Silk Road: Storm-Detectors, Blood-Sweating Horses, and Constellations
November 12 - December 22, 2016
Galerie Hugues Charbonneau (Montréal, QC)

November 23, 2016 - February 12, 2017
Musée d'art contemporain des Laurentides (Saint-Jérôme, QC)

Des mimes et des mites
November 24, 2016 - January 24, 2017
Conseil des Arts de Montréal (Montréal, QC)

Terra dos Chinês Curio Shop
September 3-October 2, 2016
articule (Montréal, QC)
Vernissage: September 2, 7pm
Discussion: September 17, 3pm

Art Toronto 2016
October 28-31, 2016
Metro Toronto Convention Centre (ON)
With Galerie Hugues Charbonneau

Foire Papier - Papier Art Fair
April 22-24, 2016
Works in paper, with Galerie Hugues Charbonneau
(Hangar 16 - Quai de l'Horloge - Old Port of Montréal)

Power Ball XVIII: Pleasure Principle
June 2, 2016
The Power Plant (Toronto)
I will transform one of the galleries into one of my opium dens

Research residency
February 15-29, 2016
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (BC)
This will be a continuation of the historical research that informed my installation, Flying Cormorant Studio (2014) in which I re-imagined the studio of Lee Nam, a Chinese immigrant to British Columbia and a friend of Emily Carr’s in the 1930s. We know of Lee Nam's existence only through Carr’s journal entries and this residency will give me the opportunity to do more onsite investigation in Victoria itself where both Carr and Lee lived and worked. I hope that I may find more information about Lee, who I suggest may be one of the first Chinese Canadian artists, and to locate his works, if any have survived. During the two-week residency I will explore the archives and collections of the AGGV and the Emily Carr House, well as meet with historians, archivists and curators at the Royal BC Museum and in Chinatown.

Emily Carr, Lee Nam and the Search for the Migrant Artist
February 18-21, 2016
Panelist for the "Emily Carr (1871-1945): Artist and Author, Lover of Nature" symposium, organized by Ingrid Mary Percy of Memorial University of Newfoundland, held at the Art Gallery of Victoria
(Symposium website)

Karen Tam: Collection of the China Institute of the University of Frankfurt at the Weltkulturen Museum
June 2013-ongoing
Weltkulturen Museum's OPEN LAB project
Frankfurt am Main, Germany
"The Chinese-Canadian artist and Deutsche Börse artist in residence at the Frankfurter Kunstverein, Karen Tam, is currently investigating the where-abouts of a collection once belonging to the China Institute of the University of Frankfurt. Parts of this collection were apparently given to the Weltkulturen Museum after they were damaged during World War II and are now on permanent loan at the Museum für Angewandte Kunst, just next door on the Museum Embankment in Frankfurt. Please follow the project with the Bookmark button in OPEN LAB to find out more about the artist, stay up-to-date on the latest developments in her investigation and find additional information on the Chinese collection objects once belonging to the Weltkulturen Museum."

Feature Art Fair
October 22-25, 2015
With Galerie Hugues Charbonneau (Booth #111)
Joey and Boy Tanenbaum Opera Centre
227 Front Street East, Toronto

Terra dos Chinês Curio Shop
July 9-August 22, 2015
Artspace Peterborough (Peterborough, ON)

Karen Tam at Holt Renfrew
April 3-May 6, 2015
Holt Renfrew (Montréal, QC)

Foire Papier - Papier Art Fair
April 23-26, 2015
Works on paper, at Galerie Hugues Charbonneau (booth #112)
Complexe de Gaspé (5445, de Gaspé, Montréal, QC)

April 20, 2015
Guest lecturer for “Asian Art and its Markets” course, Sotheby’s Institute of Art (London, UK)

"Flying Cormorant Studio, or the Re-Imagining of a Migrant Artist's Studio"
April 9-11, 2015
Session panelist at the Association of Art Historians 2015 Conference, University of East Anglia (Norwich, UK)

April 19, 2015
Speaker. Port talk. "Canadian Artists Series", Goodenough College (London, UK)

Made in Britain
January 17-February 21, 2015
Vernissage: January 17, 3-5pm
Galerie Hugues Charbonneau (Montréal, QC)

Everyone Was Mushu Fighting! is a pink vinyl cut-out of dragons chasing after a plate of mushu pork, installed on the glass staircase at the National Glass Centre (Sunderland, UK) more

Breathe Chongqing 2009 residency at 501 Artspace, co-organized by Chinese Arts Centre in Manchester (Chongqing, China) (view)


Books and publications

Chapter in The Changing Landscape of China's Consumerism (2014) ed. Alison Hulme.
Published by Chandos Publishing

The Changing Landscape of China's Consumerism looks at the growth of consumerism in China from both a socio-economic and a political/cultural angle. It examines changing trends in consumption in China as well as the impact of these trends on society, and the politics and culture surrounding them. It examines the ways in which, despite needing to "unlock" the spending power of the rural provinces, the Chinese authorities are also keen to maintain certain attitudes towards the Communist Party and socialism "with Chinese Characteristics."

Eating Chinese: Culture on the Menu in Small Town Canada (2010) by Lily Cho.
Published by the University of Toronto Press (link)


Sweet & Sour: Life in Chinese Family Restaurants by John Jung
Published by Yin & Yang Press(buy)

"Sweet and Sour examines the history of Chinese family restaurants in the U. S. and Canada. The goal of Sweet and Sour is to understand how the small Chinese family restaurants functioned. Narratives provided by 10 Chinese who grew up in their family restaurants in all parts of the North America provide valuable insights on the role that this ethnic business had on their lives. Is there any future for this type of immigrant enterprise in the modern world of franchised and corporate owned eateries or will it soon, like the Chinese laundry, be a relic of history."

Exhibition catalog of Karen Tam, curated by Mary Jane Jacob, at CUE Arts Foundation (New York, NY) available from CUE Art Foundation.

Chinese Firecrackers CD. Music of the 19th and early 20th century as interpreted by David Hancock, Robert Tam, Karen Tam, and Ying Kwok. Limited edition of 50.

Listen to excerpts. Available here and Chinese Arts Centre.

Gold Mountain Restaurant Montagne d'Or published by MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels) with contributions from Françoise Bélu, Marcel Blouin, Sylvie Lachance, Day's Lee

Available from MAI, Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal bookstore, Musée de beaux-arts de Montréal bookstore.

© karen tam 2005-2017. All rights reserve