Ho Tam, Artist – Vancouver

Ho Tam was born in Hong Kong, educated in Canada and the U.S., and worked in advertising companies and community psychiatric facilities before turning to art. He practices in multiple disciplines including photography, video, painting, and print media. His first video, The Yellow Pages, was commissioned by the public art group PUBLIC ACCESS for an installation/projection at Toronto’s Union Station in 1994/95. Since then Tam has produced over twenty experimental videos. He also publishes several series of artist’s books and zines. Currently he is running a bookshop/gallery in Vancouver. This month The Yellow Pages is on display at Paul Petro Contemporary Art and online as part of the 2020 Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival.

  1. Hong Kong politics

Having been born in colonial Hong Kong but lived in Canada most of my life, I do still feel connected to my birth place. Since a few years ago, I have been paying attention to the news about the Umbrella Movement and the democracy protests. I respect and support the people of Hong Kong in their battle for autonomy.

  1. Japchae

A sweet, chewy, and colourful Korean dish of mixed vegetables and chewy glass noodles made of sweet potato starch. This was one of my mother’s favourite dishes. Now every time I have it, my memory of her comes back.

  1. Minimalist living

Probably something I aspire to, but will never achieve in this life. For a long time I have given my artist self all the permissions to save everything. Now I realize that I need to downsize, but I am not doing a very good job. Reading about it keeps the dream alive.

  1. Typography

I have always been fascinated with calligraphy and signage since I was a child. I appreciate good, clean designs, but I am not a purist. Sometimes handwritten or drawn styles can be very charming and more personal. These days I am making sketchbooks of words using different fonts.

  1. Quotes

As an extension of my interest in typography, I have also been making chalk writing signs for the bookshop that I manage. Because of the health quarantine, the bookshop is now closed. I have begun to write quotes on the window to encourage myself and passersby. The most recent quote on the window is from a Japanese proverb: Fall seven times, get up eight!