Photo by: Rachel Pick


I translate emotions evoked from everyday observations, into colour, form and movement. Spanning across abstract painting, collage and sculpture, my work embodies a sense of rawness and inhibition that is guided by experimentation, chance and control. To me, the most important aspect in my work is to convey emotion. An integral part of my painting process is the physicality of action-painting. I paint with explosive force and power. I intentionally combine contrasting loose gestures, splatters and organic forms with hard-edged shapes.

What interests me about collage is how I can use shape-making expressively to inform my painting. Collage allows me to explore different textures, colours and forms. The post-war collages by Dada artist, Hannah Höch, became the catalyst for me to examine how collage could be lyrical and emotionally charged.

In moving away from the confines of a rectangular frame, my wall and floor installation works straddle both painting and sculpture. The twisting and moulding of the canvas are physical transferences of movement derived from the painting process. The work invites the viewer to be engaged in slow observation.

I am drawn to the subject of emotional intelligence which refers to the ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. This interest stems from my personal observation of cultural differences around emotional expression. My work began as an emotional release to this tension and it articulates what words could not. Through the interplay between movement, form and colour, the work demands the viewer to be open to new sensations and feelings.


Mixed media painter Vanessa Lam creates dialogue between collage and expressive gestural painting. Lam was awarded the Vancouver Regional Award and Grand Prize Award for the 2017 Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series. As part of her award, she collaborated with Artsy for her first solo exhibition in New York. Her work was also featured in Create! Magazine and Uppercase Magazine. Lam was an artist-in-residence at Takt Projektraum in Berlin, Germany. Her work can be found in private collections in Vancouver, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. She currently lives and works in Vancouver, British Columbia.



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