Blobs, drips and squishes. Dan Lam’s sculptures are bright and gloopy, synthetic melts with spikes and an organic soul. These soft sculptures are experiments in colour and form, meditations on beauty, its limits and the urge to reach out and touch.
Dan Lam was born in the Philippines; her parents were Vietnamese refugees and they moved to the USA when she was a young child. She grew up in Texas and studied at the University of North Texas before completing an MFA at Arizona State University in 2014. Lam first specialized in drawing and painting but was always attracted to texture and the possibilities of stepping beyond canvass. Inspired by artists such as Lynda Benglis, she began experimenting with materialslikehot glue, resin and plaster.
Nature often serves as inspiration for Lam, whose psychedelic palette reflects bizarre corals, holographic reptiles or the warning colours that bugs give off to deter predators. As the artist explains, “I want the sculptures to have that illusion of being alive, but you don’t need drugs to see it.” Adaptability is also key: for these drippy, poured works, timing and gravity are allies in Lam’s creative process.
Since 2014, Lam has held solo shows in Fort Worth, San Francisco and New York, among others and has participated in group shows across the USA and in London, Paris and Munich. She has been Facebook Artist in Residence in California (2017) and Austin (2019), and her installation, Crave the Unexpected, was shown at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, in 2019.