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Artist Talk and Tea Ceremonies with Lam Wong

Image of artist Lam Wong's 'MA No.1 - The Space Between Objects'

Lam Wong, detail of ‘MA No.1 - The Space Between Objects', 2019, Courtesy of Griffin Art Projects. Photo: Byron Dauncey

In the Present Moment: Buddhism, Contemporary Art, and Social Practice – Artist Talk and Tea Ceremonies with Lam Wong

Walter Phillips Gallery

Artist Talk 1:00 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.
Tea Ceremony Events: 2:30 p.m.; 3:30 p.m.; and 4:30 p.m. (pre-registration is required)

In conjunction with the exhibition, In the Present Moment: Buddhism, Contemporary Art, and Social Practice, please join us for an artist talk with Lam Wong at Walter Phillips Gallery with an introduction by exhibition curator Haema Sivanesan, followed by a series of tea ceremonies hosted by the artist and open to the public for registration. 

Lam Wong’s installation, MA No.1 – The Space Between Objects (Mu/Wu) (2019-ongoing) modernizes and reframes the environment of a traditional Japanese tea house as a floor sculpture incorporating various East Asian and Western elements. The installation contains many Buddhist symbols and references, which the artist describes as encompassing a “total knowledge”, suggesting how East Asian tea cultures are deeply connected to Buddhist thought. The installation is activated as socially engaged art practice (social practice) by the ritual of tea, hosted by the artist. In this way, the artist facilitates a profound exchange between strangers, effecting a moment of stillness – a glimpse of Empty Awareness.

Tea ceremonies hosted by the artist will take place on Friday, September 15 at 2:30pm; 3:30pm; and 4:30pm; and on Saturday, September 16 at 1pm; 2pm; 3pm; and 4pm at Walter Phillips Gallery. The events are each approximately a half hour, with two participants per session. 

In the Present Moment: Buddhism, Contemporary Art, and Social Practice is guest curated by Haema Sivanesan, Director, Leighton Studios and Program Partnerships. This exhibition draws on research undertaken during her tenure as Curator, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, generously supported by funding from The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation, Hong Kong and Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, New York.

The exhibition at Walter Phillips Gallery is made possible through the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Government of Canada and Government of Alberta.


Lam Wong

“I want to create layers of meaning, not just by building relationships, making connections and creating dialogues through the art works, but also by bringing to light the invisible, the gaps or intervals, and the mystery. It is achieved by expanding the dimension of time and space in my works.”

“I am fascinated by these mysterious connections between the art works and viewers. And I like the idea that my works are constantly demanding of each other and in conversation with one another.”
Lam Wong is a visual artist and curator who immigrated from Hong Kong to Canada during the 1980s and studied design, art history and painting in Alberta and British Columbia. Wong works with painting, installation and performance to engage with themes such as the perception of reality, the role of art and the relationship between time, memory and space. He sees artmaking as an ongoing spiritual practice and his work draws upon his knowledge of Western art history and his interest in Taoism and Buddhism. Wong’s creative approach is often concerned with blending Eastern philosophies and challenging the notion of painting.
Wong has been based in Vancouver since 1998. His work has been included in exhibitions at Canton-Sardine (2022), Campbell River Art Gallery (2021), Unit 17 (2021), Vancouver Art Gallery (2021), Centre A (2020), The Polygon (2020), Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden (2019-2022), and Griffin Art Projects (2019).