Ho Tam

Born in Hong Kong, HO TAM is a media/visual artist who has worked in advertising and community psychiatry. He received a BA from McMaster University and an MFA from Bard College (NY). From 1996 to 1997, he was a participant at the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. Tam has exhibited in public galleries and alternative spaces across Canada, including the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography (2001) and and two survey exhibitions, A Portrait of the Photographer, Paul Petro Contemporary Art (2015), and Cover To Cover at the Richmond Art Gallery, BC (2018). Tam's work was also included in The Tin Man Was A Dreamer: Allegories, Poetics And Performances Of Power at the Vancouver Art Gallery (2020). Over 15 of his experimental film/video works are in circulation including screenings at Centre Pompidou, Paris, Toronto International Film Festival, Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival and the travelling exhibition Magnetic North: Canadian Experimental Video organized by the Walker Art Center, Minnesota.

Tam is a recipient of various grants and awards, including the Grand Marnier Video Fellowship (2003) from the Film Society of Lincoln Center (New York) and the Best Documentary Feature at Tel Aviv LGBT Film Festival. From 2004 to 2011, Tam taught in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Victoria. Ho Tam lives in Vancouver, BC. He recently edited and published Frontline: Interviews with International Photo-based Artists. He is also the publisher of Hotam Press, an independent press of artist books, and currently runs a bookshop and gallery of the same name.

Selected Solo Exhibitions
  • Centre for Prints & Media Arts, Hamilton, ON
  • Platform Centre for Photographic & Digital Arts, Winnipeg, MBC
  • Commonwealth & Council, Los Angeles
  • Yukon Arts Centre, Whitehorse
  • Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria
  • Romances, Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto
  • Xchanges Gallery, Victoria
  • VU Photo, Centre de diffusion et de production de la photographie, Quebec City
  • Photo Passage at the Harbourfront Centre, Toronto
  • Centre A, Vancouver
  • Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, Ottawa
  • Gallery TPW, Toronto
  • Hamilton Artists Inc., Hamilton
  • Galerie 101 Gallery, Ottawa
  • Plug In, Inc., Winnipeg
  • Gallery 44, Toronto (two-person exhibition with Brenda Joy Lem)
  • Garnet Press Gallery, Toronto
  • Neutral Ground, Regina
  • Galerie Articule, Montreal
  • Floating Gallery (Light Year Photo Festival), Winnipeg
  • University of California at Berkeley Extension, San Francisco
  • White Water Gallery, North Bay
  • YYZ Artists' Outlet, Toronto
  • Observatoire 4, Montreal
  • Art Starts Neighbourhood Cultural Centre, Toronto
Selected Group Exhibitions
  • Tin Man Was a Dreamer: Allegories, Poetics and Performances of Power, Curated by Grant Arnold & Mandy Ginson, Vancouver Art Gallery
  • Spectrosynthesis Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei, Taiwan
  • Contacting Toronto Subway Platform, Toronto Transit Commissions
  • 2007 Redress Express Centre A, Vancouver
  • A Usable Past Henry Street Settlement Abrons Arts Center, New York
  • Life and Death of I.D. McMaster University Museum, Hamilton ON
  • Aesthetics of Everyday Glenbow Museum, Calgary
  • Return to Sender Pender 69, Vancouver
  • Video Portraits Kitchener/Waterloo Art Gallery, Kitchener/Waterloo ON
  • Creative Insecurity South Asian Visual Arts Collective, Toronto
  • Dislocation Fringe Club, Hong Kong
  • Ménage à trois Eastern Edge Gallery, St. John's, Newfoundland
  • Legion, Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto
  • In Case of Rapture, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston
  • Magnetic North: Canadian Experimental Video, Whatshan, Taipei
  • Others Henry Street Settlement, Abrons Arts Center, New York
  • Magnetic North: Canadian Experimental Video, Art Gallery of Hamilton
  • Magnetic North: Canadian Experimental Video, Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, Ottawa
  • Magnetic North: Canadian Experimental Video, The Power Plant, Toronto
  • Group Show, West Wing Art Space, Toronto
  • Being On Time, Public Access at Central Technical High School, Toronto
  • Magnetic North: Canadian Experimental Video, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
  • In the Marketplace of Private Life, Photographic Resource Center, Boston
  • Line Up, Henry Street Settlement, Abrons Art Center, New York
  • A Skowhegan Decade, David Beitzel Gallery, New York
  • Troubling Customs, Ontario College of Art, Toronto
  • Troubling Customs, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
  • The Carriage House - Project 97, Islip Art Museum, Islip (New York)
  • Uncommon Traits, CEPA Gallery, Buffalo
  • Home Is Where The Heart Is, White Columns, New York
  • Video Postcards, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
  • MusÈe Feminique, San Francisco State University, San Francisco
  • Snappy Title, YYZ Artists' Outlet, Toronto
  • Consumption, Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco
  • Snow, Garnet Press Gallery, Toronto
  • Rebecca Baird/Ho Tam, Open Studio Gallery, Toronto
  • Asian Heritage Month Festival, Galerie SAW Video, Ottawa
  • Group Show, Garnet Press Gallery, Toronto
  • Celebrity-hood, Longwood Art Project, Bronx (New York)
  • Under Siege, ABC No Rio, New York
  • AutoFocus Presents, Robarts Library, University of Toronto
  • Stonewall 25, White Columns, New York
  • Contested Spaces, Public Access at Union Station, Toronto
  • Book Ends, Artspeak Gallery, Vancouver
  • Snapshots From Daily Life, Photographers Gallery, Saskatoon
  • Dismantling Invisibility, A Space, Toronto
  • Bookworks, AKA Artists' Centre, Saskatoon
  • Inside/Outside: New Chinese Art, Galerie SAW Video, Ottawa
  • Inside/Outside: New Chinese Art, Artspace, Peterborough
  • Artists At the “Y”, West End YMCA, Toronto
  • Roundup ë92, Artistís Studio, Toronto
  • Confessions of A Salesman 55:00 colour/sound DV 2008
  • Discopedia 8:15 colour/sound DV 2007
  • Books of James (long version) 73:34 colour/sound DV 2006
  • In the Dark 6:00 b&w/sound DV 2003
  • Still Lives (In the Americas) 20:00 colour/sound DV 2003
  • She Was Cuba 16:20 colour/sound DV 2003
  • Books of James 16:30 colour/sound DV 2002
  • My Memories of Me 3:00 colour/sound DV 2001
  • Bus No. 7 3:00 colour/sound DV 2001
  • Miracles on 163rd 25:00 colour/sound DV 2001
  • The Loop 18:00 colour/sound DV 2001
  • Fine China 8:00 colour/sound DV 2000
  • Ave Maria 7:30 colour/sound Umatic 2000
  • dos cartas / two letters 4:30 colour/sound Umatic 1999
  • Matinee Idols 16:30 b&w/sound BetaCam 1999
  • Cop Strings 6:00 colour/sound Umatic 1999
  • Hair Cuts 8:00 colour/sound Umatic 1999
  • Washington Heights 3:30 colour/sound Super 8 1998
  • La Salle Primary 5:00 colour/sound Umatic 1998
  • Pocahontas: TransWorld Remix 4:30 colour/sound Umatic 1998
  • 99 Men 3:00 b&w/sound Umatic 1998
  • Dear Sis: 4:30 colour/sound Umatic 1998
  • Season of the Boys 3:30 colour/sound Umatic 1997
  • The Yellow Pages 8:00 colour/sound BetaCam 1994
Selected Video Screenings
  • Los Angeles Pacific Asian Film Festival
  • Hong Kong Lesbian & Gay Film Festival
  • Vancouver Asian Film Festival Spotlight Artist Presentation
  • Seattle International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival
  • Lisbon Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, Portugal
  • Indonesia Q! Film Festival, Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Outfest: Los Angeles International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival
  • Tel Aviv LGBT Film Festival Best Documentary Feature
  • Global Queer, The Museum of Modern Art, NYC
  • Outfest, Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival Outstanding Artistic Achievement Award
  • Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin, Paris, France & Berlin, Germany
  • INVIDEO 2005, Milan, Italy
  • Media Art Biennale (WRO '05), Wroclaw, Poland
  • Filmhuis Cavia, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Scratch Projection au Centre Wallonie Bruxelles, Paris, France
  • Schermi dal Mondo, Milan Film Festival, Milan, Italy
  • Experimenta 2005, Mumbai & New Delhi, India
  • Ottawa Art Gallery, Ottawa ON
  • Mieke Bal & Ho Tam, Artword Theatre, Toronto
  • VideoLisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
  • 2003 Toronto International Film Festival
  • Images Independent Film & Video Festival, Toronto
  • Image Movement Cinematheque, Taipei
  • Cinematheque Ontario, Toronto
  • Reel Asian: Toronto Asian Canadian Film & Video Festival
  • Magnetic North: Canadian Experimental Video. Travelling exhibition organized by Walker Art Center and Plug In Inc.
  • Inside Out Toronto Lesbian & Gay Film Festival
  • San Francisco Asian American Film Festival
  • Video Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
  • Video Brasil, Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Contemporary Art Forum, Kitchener City Hall, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
  • Blue Print: Moving Images for the 21st Century, Pleasure Dome, Toronto
  • San Francisco Asian American Film Festival
  • Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
  • Muestra Internacional de Video Independent. Espacio Cultual el Tanque, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
  • 2000 MIX: 2000 New York Film/Video Festival
  • Hummadruz Global Sounds Film Festival, Los Angeles
  • Mostra de Video Independent. Centre de Cultura Contemporania de Barcelona, Spain
  • IMAGES: Toronto Independent Film & Video Festival
  • Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, Japan
  • The 11th New York Lesbian & Gay Film Festival
  • Media Art Biennale, Wroclaw, Poland
  • Architecture (curated by Laurie Brown). Hope 57 Gallery , Brooklyn & Knitting Factory, New York
  • Mostra de Video Independent. Centre de Cultura Contemporania de Barcelona, Spain
  • The 3rd Hong Kong Queer Film & Video Festival
  • MIX: 1998 New York Film/Video Festival
  • LA Freewaves: A Celebration of Independent Video, Los Angeles
  • SCHULZ, Cologne, Germany
  • New York Lesbian & Gay Film Festival
  • The 22nd San Francisco International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival
  • The 1998 Video Room Video Festival. Video Room, New York
  • Desire & Memories: Re/Locating Asia. Cepa Gallery, Buffalo
  • Chinese Film Showcase. Asian Media Access, Minneapolis/St. Paul
  • The 1998 San Francisco Asian American Film Festival
  • The 12th London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival
  • Microwave Festival. Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong
  • MIX: 1996 New York Film/Video Festival
  • IMAGES: Toronto Independent Film & Video Festival
  • The 14th San Francisco Annual Asian American Film/Video Festival
  • Vancouver Gay & Lesbian Film/Video Festival. Video In
Selected Bibliography
  • Henry Heng Lu, “Ho Tam: Cover to Cover,” Richmond Art Gaiiery Exhibition Catalogue, 2018
  • Alvin Li, “Review: Spectrosynthesis – Asian LGBTQ Issues and Art Now,” Frieze Magazine, December 2017
  • Kegan McFadden,”Review: Ho Tam – Cover to Cover,” C Magazine, Issue 133, Spring 2017
  • “Borderviews: The Democratizer,” Border Crossing, Issue 140, December 2016
  • Steven Leyden Cochrane, “The Value of Awareness: Vancouver Artist’s Magazines Push Back Against Media Misrepresentation and Damaging Stereotypes,” Winnipeg Free Press, October 17, 2016
  • Tricia Wasney, “Where in the World I am: A Response to Ho Tam’s Cover to Cover,” Platform Centre Exhibition Catologue, November 2016
  • Sally Frater, “Translations,” Centre3 Catalogue, February 2016
  • Joni Low, “Possibilities for the Page: 88Books & Artists’ books in China,” Yishu Art Journal, Vol. 11, No. 6, 2012
  • Mike Hoolboom, “Ho Tam: Seasons of the Boys,” Practical Dreamers: Interviews with Movie Artists, Coach House Press, Toronto, 2008
  • Ho Tam & Alice Ming Wai Jim, “Let the Fingers Do the Walking: Rereading Ho Tam’s The Yellow Pages,” Reel Asian: Asia Canada On Screen, Toronto: Coach House Press, 2007
  • Vera Frankel, "Harder Times, Tougher Spaces," Canadian Art Magazine, Summer 2004
    Artist's Project, FELIX, Risk/Riesgo Issue (journal with DVD), 2003/04
    Chris Kennedy, "On Fine China," Blue Prints, Pleasure Dome (Toronto), 2003
    Artist's Project, PUBLIC 25: Experimentalism, 2002
    Peter Goddard, "A show of cheek from city's east end," The Toronto Star, August 29, 2002
    Robert Durocher, "Shotgun Reviews," LOLA Magazine, Issue 13, Fall 2002
    Robin Laurence, ìEastern Outpost,î The Georgia Straight, May 2-9, 2002
  • Thomas Hirschmann, ìContact High,î Now Magazine, May 2-8, 2002
  • Artistís Project, C Magazine, Spring 2001
  • Gary Michael Dault, ìA lesson waiting to be learned,î The Globe and Mail, January 20, 2001
  • Deirdre Hanna, ìVisual Arts,î Now Magazine, January 18-24, 2001
  • John Terauds, ìA remembrance of time present,î The Toronto Star, January 11, 2001
  • Joyce Mason, ìWhat was Cín,î C Magazine, Winter 2000-2001
  • Jenny Lion (ed.), Magnetic North: Canadian Experimental Video, University of Minnesota Press, 2000
  • Anya Wassenberg, ìHo Tamís exhibition us,î Lola Magazine, No. 5, Winter 1999-2000
  • Elizabeth Fearon, ìHo Tam, us,î Art Focus, Fall 1999
  • Deborah Bright, ìFractured Mirrors, Broken Windows: In the Marketplace of Private Life,î The Photography Resource Center at Boston University Catalogue, 1999
  • Cale McQuaid, ìBlack-holed visions, interrupted yoga, and anger,î The Boston Globe, October 7, 1999
  • Asahi Daily News (Yamagata, Japan), October 23, 1999
  • Wayne Baerwauldt, ìHo Tam: Untitled, Nonspecific,î Tea & Sympathy: Plug In Cahier, 1998-99
  • Erica Rand, "Speak Easy: Troubling Customs," New Art Examiner, June 1998
  • Alison Gilmor, "Sexy Po-Mo," Border Crossings, Spring 1997
  • Deirdre Hanna, "Photo-Based Works Dig Roots of Racism," Now Magazine, May 8-14, 1997
  • Larrissa Lai, "Ho Tam: The Yellow Pages," Gallery 44 Catalogue, 1997
  • Garth Buchholz, "Engaging, Colourful and All Sewn Up," Winnipeg Free Press, March 1, 1997
  • Robert Atkins (ed.), TalkBack! A Forum for Critical Discoure (online publication). Issue No. 2, 1996
  • Andy Fabo, "Provocative Pleasure: The Art of Ho Tam," Garnet Press Gallery Catalogue, 1996
  • Stephen Horne, "Reviews/Commentaries," Parachute, no. 82, 1996
  • Greg Beatty, "Toronto Artist Looks At Male Identity," The Leader Post, Regina, January 20, 1996
  • Bill Arning, "Stonewall 25: Imaginings of the Gay Past - Celebrating the Gay Present," White Columns Update 1995 (Catalogue)
  • Lucinda Catchlove, "Consuming Culture," Hour Magazine, MontrÈal, November 30, 1995
  • Larrissa Lai, "Ho Tam: The Yellow Pages," Light Year, Floating Gallery Catalogue, Winnipeg, 1995
  • Earl Miller, "The Contested Spaces," Fuse Magazine, Vol. 18, No. 4, 1995
Selected Curatorial/Community Projects
  • 2001/02 Board of Directors, Open Studio, Toronto
  • Chairperson for Gallery Committee, Open Studio, Toronto
  • 2000 Programmer, Verzaubert International Queer Film Festival, Germany
  • 1998 Curator, "GONE AWRY," MIX '98: New York Gay & Lesbian Experimental Film & Video Festival
  • 1996 Co-curator, Video Programme for '"Arts Communities/AIDS Communitites: Realizing The Archive Project" Institute of the Contemporary Art, Boston. (February 21, 1996)
  • 1995/96 Board of Directors, Mercer Union, Toronto
  • 1994/95 Exhibition Coordinator, Art Starts Neighbourhood Cultural Centre, Toronto
  • 1994 Programming Committee, A Space Gallery, Toronto
Awards & Honours
  • Visual Arts Grants, Canada Council for the Arts
  • Media Arts Grants, Canada Council for the Arts
  • Project Assistance for Visual Artist, British Columbia Arts Council
  • Media Arts Grants, Toronto Arts Council
  • Grand Marnier Film Fellowships, The Film Society of Lincoln Center, New York
  • Scholarship, Bard College
  • Visual Arts Grants, Ontario Arts Council
  • Scholarship, Bard College
  • Video Production Grants, Canada Council for the Arts
  • Fellowship, MacDowell Colony
  • Visual Arts Grants, Arts Council for the Arts
  • Visual Arts Grants, Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council & Toronto Arts Council.
  • Fellowship, Whitney Museum Independent Study Program
  • Visual Arts Grants, Ontario Arts Council. Fellowship, Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture
  • Visual Arts Grants, Toronto Arts Council.
  • Exhibition Assistance Grants, Ontario Arts Council.
  • Financial Award, Banff Centre for the Arts
  • Diversi Film & Video Fund
Education & Residencies
  • Vera Frankel, "Harder Times, Tougher Spaces," Canadian Art Magazine, Summer 2004
    Artist's Project, FELIX, Risk/Riesgo Issue (journal with DVD), 2003/04
    Chris Kennedy, "On Fine China," Blue Prints, Pleasure Dome (Toronto), 2003
    Artist's Project, PUBLIC 25: Experimentalism, 2002
    Peter Goddard, "A show of cheek from city's east end," The Toronto Star, August 29, 2002
    Robert Durocher, "Shotgun Reviews," LOLA Magazine, Issue 13, Fall 2002
    Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. MFA Program (Film & Video), 2001-2002
  • Charles Street Video, Toronto. Video Residency, 1999
  • Henry Street Settlement, New York. Artist-In-Residency Program, 1998-99
  • The MacDowell Colony, New Hamphsire. Art Residency, 1997
  • Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Independent Study Program, 1996/97
  • Open Studio Printmaker's Co-op, Toronto. Visiting Artists Program, 1996
  • Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, Maine. Summer Studio Residency, 1995
  • The Banff Centre For the Arts, Alberta. Art Studio, 1994
  • McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario. Bachelor of Arts, 1985
Permanent Collections
  • Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
  • Art Museum at the University of Toronto, ON
  • Canada Council for the Arts, Ottawa ON
  • Cleveland Public Library, Cleveland OH
  • Columbia College Library, Chicago IL
  • Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Vancouver
  • Glenbow Museum, Calgary AB
  • International Centre of Photography, NYC
  • INVIDEO, Milan, Italy
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
  • National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
  • New York University, NYC
  • New York University Library, New York NY
  • OVNI Archive, Barcelona, Spain
  • Simon Fraser University, Vancouver BC
  • Tai Kwun Contemporary, Hong Kong
  • University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC
  • University of California, Irvine CA
  • University of Washing Library, Seattle WA
  • Victoria & Albert Museum, London