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Last Name





Vanessa Lam is a self-taught visual artist who lives and works in Vancouver, British Columbia. She is the Vancouver Regional and Grand Prize Winner of the 2017 Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series. She was awarded the opportunity to collaborate with Artsy for her first solo exhibition in New York. Lam completed an artist residency at Takt Projektraum in Berlin, Germany. Her work has been featured in Create! and Uppercase. Lam’s work can be found in private collections in Vancouver, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.


Country of residence




My work begins with an emotional release. Through abstract painting, sculpture and collage, I translate emotions into colour, form and movement. The work demands an openness to new sensations and feelings. Painting with force and power, I combine loose gestures, splatters and organic forms with hard-edged shapes. My process of shape-making in collage informs my painting. Rippled pools of graphite and clipped textures of everyday objects coalesce into floating amoebic clusters. My work embodies a sense of rawness and inhibition that is guided by experimentation, chance and control.

Released from the confines of the rectangular frame, my wall and floor installation works straddle both painting and sculpture.  Although the creation of the work begins on a two-dimensional plane, the majority of the painting is obscured after it is cut and moulded into a three-dimensional form. The canvas retains the memory of its physical contortion.  Details in the sculptural work slowly unfold with close observation.

My explorations respond to my interest in emotional intelligence and mental health. As a child, I learned that emotional restraint was culturally preferable over expressiveness. Suppression was an act of survival to blanket unspoken truths and difficult emotions. I longed to construct a space for expressive freedom. Through removing and layering gestural marks, my painting process became a journey to uncover a new vocabulary for expression.  I use abstraction as a form of disruption. I am reshaping the fragmented history I carry within my body through cutting and manipulating materials.  The intention of my work is to be a passage for viewers to move through a range of emotions. No feeling is final.

Interests and medias


Collage, Mixed media, Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture

Painting medias


Printmaking medias


Sculpture medias