Frank Tam
| Biography | Solo Exhibitions | Group Exhibitions | Review |
| Collection | Artists Represented |

Circle Square 5, by Frank Tam East West Installation, by Frank Tam

1941 Born in Taishan County, Guangdong Province, China
1950 Moved to Hong Kong
1972 Immigrated to Canada

Selected Solo Exbitions:


"Premiere", organized by Art Beatus Gallery, Hong Kong, Hong Kong Arts Centre.


One person show at studio 301, Water street, Vancouver.


Yin Koo Tsai Art Club, Vancouver.
Richmond Art Gallery, Richmond, British Columbia, Canada.
University of British Columbia Asian Centre, Vancouver, Canada.
Exhibitions of Chinese Printings by Tam Wah Nam, City Hall of Hong Kong.

Selected Group Exhibitions:


"Between the Sky and the Earth", Annie Wong Art Foundation, University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong.


"A Canadian Experience", Art Beatus, Vancouver, Canada

"Art Forum", Berlin


"Transposition", Community Arts Council, Vancouver, Canada


"Echoes After the Storm-Tiananmen Square Memorial Exhibition", University of British Columbia Asian Centre, Vancouver, Canada.


"One Art" Group Exhibitions, Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong.


Beijing Massacre Group Show, Robson Square Media Centre, Vancouver, Canada

"Beyond the Magic Mountains", Hanart Gallery, New York, U.S.A.


Chinese Canada Visual Art Exhibition, Robson Square Media Centre, Vancouver.


Chinese Painting, Harvard University, M.I.T., Boston, U.S.A.


Exhibition at the Folkwang Museum, West Germany


Exhibition of Contemporary Chinese Paintings, organized by the American Academy of Chinese Culture, San Francisco, U.S.A.

Statement about the artist:

An Explorer of Cultures by Ian Findlay Brown

Frank Tam has made his home in Vancouver, where he has grappled with the subtleties of his art which is an attempt to integrate two very distinct pictorial, cultural, and philosophical traditions. One tradition is suffused with the eloquent, intellectual, and nature inspired legacies of Chinese ink painting, while the other is firmly rooted in aggressive independent, yet equally intellectual, Western abstract art practices. In striving to bring together Eastern and Western art sensibilities and their unique concerns, Tam is in no way seeking to champion one art form over the other. What he is clearly endeavoring to do is to combine the pictorial and spiritual , the painterly and the philosophical qualities of both to create a fresh visual sensibility.

In Harmony 1 (1995) the bold wash and calligraphic stroke of his lotus paintings has given way to a dense minimalist tendency, broken only by his introduction of figurative elements. The crusty side panels of both Harmony I and Harmony II have the feeling of old iron plate left to the vagaries of weather where it will disintegrate, the surface changing with the elements. This process is a revealing one as it changes the original surface slowly to reveal the interior. Each new scar reveals the soul of such work much in the same way the Chinese artist's brush reveals the spirit of the scene upon which he gazes. Looked at closely the panels could resemble, too, a distant landscape where mountains are being swallowed by dark clouds. At another angle the panel can appear as brownish landmasses seen from the air set amidst shadowy gray waters.

It is here that Tam's juxtapositions enliven the works and suggest a clearer Chinese influence. The centre panel of Harmony 1 with its tumbling black numbers at the bottom as if they were rocks reaching up to a golden sky, hints at Chinese landscape, while the faded ghostly figure in the center panel of Harmony 1 seems trapped in time. Tam is searching for a way not only to be spontaneous in his practice, but also to reveal the balance of nature and the artist. Tam is not intent on merely showing us the surface, he wants to aid us in looking beyond it and into the spirit of his subject.

Excerpts taken from Asian Art News Nov/Dec Issue, 1996


Museum of Civilization, Ottawa, Canada
Hong Kong Museum of Art
Annie Wong Art Foundation
Private collection in Canada.


For further information, please contact:

Canada: tel: (1) 604.688.2633, fax: (1) 604.688.2685