Immortalare, 2005

Adoring Angels, 2005, acrylic on canvas, 51.5 x 40 inches

August 25 to September 10, 2005
Diane Farris Gallery, Vancouver, BC

Sam Lam is known for elegant, luminous paintings that capture the relics of Western culture. In Immortalare (Latin: to immortalize) he continues to honour the ancient beauty of classical sculpture.

Lam treats cold marble statuary as if it were living: full of warmth, love and peace. During recent trips to New York and London, Lam was newly inspired by Neoclassicist and classical Greek figures, especially those seen in London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.

By setting up his own lighting on the sculptures, he orchestrated unique perspectives rich with light and atmosphere. The interaction of shapes from different angles, the shifts of light and the subtle transformation of colours show a vision of humanity informed by his Chinese roots. The viewer sees paintings that are Western in subject matter, but Eastern in the heart.

Lam worked in his studio outside Guangzhou, China to complete this series. Born in 1963, he studied at the Guangzhou College of Art before immigrating to Canada in 1981. In 1985 he became a Canadian citizen and two years later graduated with a degree in painting from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. He was among five Chinese artists included in “Here Not There” at the Vancouver Art Gallery (1995), an exhibit that explored issues related to artists born and educated in China who have re-established themselves in Vancouver.

Lam’s works can be found in numerous private and public collections both nationally and internationally, including China’s National Gallery in Beijing. Lam has shown with the Diane Farris Gallery since 1992.

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