Originally from California, Carol Tam is bouncing between Hong Kong and Shanghai while balancing her artistic and freelance projects. Our sources (which are even more reliable than the NSA itself) tell us that she tends to go out a little too much, no matter the work load. So work hard and you get to play hard, folks!
How come you chose installations as your main medium?
“I like to think that installation is not always my main medium; my practice is a combination of sound, photography, sculpture, and painting. The distinction is found in the immersive nature of the work, allowing my thread to tangibly reflect and redefine the subtleties of isolation. This being in regards to the environment, materials and objects. I use the gestures of erasure and removal in my practice to capture and preserve these actions, defining and inhabiting spatial relationships in its own right.”
You are quite mysterious about your work, e.g. there are no titles or descriptions on your website. Do you just wish not to disclose this information or is there another motive to that?
“The website continues the thread of my practice, it is direct and to the point. I have intended the layout to challenge and broaden the experience for the viewer. The content on the page acts to articulate the concept, aesthetic, and strength in a single space and a full image. Every action is deliberated and filtered. The website and the work uniquely reveals on its own without the necessary details which is often assumed to be a given. I thrive to highlight visual dimensions while playing within the use of form in the documentation.”
Artists often say they don’t care about how much or what kind of feedback they receive from beholders and other artists. What kind of feedback do you receive and how important is it to you?
“My practice has been dissected as very surface-based and can be often seen as a system of finding meaning through material and pictorial investigation. The use of photography can act as a ‘skin’ to my sculptural pieces. I also enjoy having a dialogue around the contrast of the physical experience to the presentation online. Discovering how my work translates to others allows me to reflect on my process.”
Inspiration comes in countless ways. Some rather draw on certain events in the past others rather explore their phantasy. What nourishes your art?
“I tend to overthink and I’m overwhelmed most of the time, but that’s how I prefer it to be. I rather stay in a hectic state of mind than attempt to chill. Since I travel quite a bit, the concept of architecture within natural boundaries and limitations, public and private have compositionally driven my practice through material interventions. My routine nourishes in a form of execution and that is to render in a therapeutic construct to find solitude. The gestures therefore become quite subtle but loud.”
The projection video you show on your website really struck our attention. Tell us something about how this project evolved. And can you imagine doing something similar in cooperation with other artists, i.e. musicians?
“This was a study in the use of projection, video, and image. The disunity and intuitive arrangement of line and form was intended to adapt and occupy the authorship of the space. With the existing area, I focused on the intersection of the walls and corners while heavily acknowledging the grid system. The installation permitted the audience to physically and visually conceive the activation of light and time.
I’m currently working on a zine with a friend! I think it is vital to have the opportunity to collaborate with other artist. I have worked with a couple close friends in the past and whether the project is in regards to scoring of a film or in sound production – the process becomes attentive, beneficial in growth, and not to forget the feedback is always great too ;)”