Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art



Photo Exhibition
Video Screening at Video In, 1965 Main Street
Sunday, May 5, 2002 at 7pm


Ho Tam’s exhibition Lessons consists of twenty-five colour photographs taken during a recent visit to the colonial Catholic boys’ school in Hong Kong he attended as a child during the 1960s and 70s. Moving between the role of observer and participant, Tam reflects on ‘lessons’ learned during his formative childhood years. The resulting exhibition evoked memories of love, desire, discipline, trust, fear and loss of innocence.

Using a low-resolution 8mm camcorder, Tam recorded his surroundings and then photographed the monitor screen while the tape played, producing a series of grainy yet sensitive photographs. His interests in the psychical as well as the physical remains of the colonialist past sheds light on the experience of human learning and the passing of time.

Tam has always been interested in exploring ‘otherness’, yet with the increasing globalization, Tam suggests that the idea of location may become increasingly harder to define, and race could be the final frontier. His work often resides within the space where ideas of location and race inform each other, functioning as a mediator between the two.

Born in Hong Kong and was educated in Toronto, Canada, Tam worked in advertising firms and community psychiatric facilities before turning to art. He works in a diverse mix of disciplines including painting, video, print and public art. His first video, “The Yellow Pages”, was commissioned by the public arts group Public Access for an installation/projection at Union Station in Toronto, 1994/95. Tam has recently returned to Toronto after living in New York City for several years. Various other video projects include ‘Season of the Boys” (1997); ‘Dear Sis’ (1998); ’99 Mena’ (1998); ‘Pocahontas’ (1998); ‘La Salle Primary’ (1998).

Centre A and Video In will also sponsor a screening of video work by Tam on Sunday May 5, 2002. The exhibition will open in conjunction with Centre A’s ‘Locating Asia’ symposium, held from May 3-5, 2002 at the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue.

Lessons, organized by curator Carla Garnet, was first mounted at the Gallery TPW in Toronto. One of Canadian premiere young artists, in addition to exhibitions in Ottawa, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montral and New York, Tam’s videos have been included in international screenings throughout Asia and Europe. This is Tam’s first solo exhibition in Vancouver.