Tam van Tran

Tam van TranArtist’s Statement

In the last ten years, my work has focused on ideas of personal transformation in a dialogue with nature and culture. I use organic vegetable matters such as spirulina, chlorophyll and food materials like cabbage and carrots, which are mixed with acrylic paints to form a biodegradable soup and drafted onto paper as a drawing. In all my work and the 3-dimensional paper ‘beetle manifestos’ series, the circle shapes are printed by bottle caps referencing the negative space of bottles, and punch holes are used as way to create lines and zeros. Staples provide shimmer as well as structural support of the layered paper. I transform ordinary materials into objects of abstraction that touch on how a painting is put together with lines, mark making, and surface tension. I’m interested in beauty as an abstract experience, free of subject and object, beyond the generalization of language. This is related to how perception is spatially experienced through cause and effect of actions of the body, speech, and mind.

I see the drawings as possible depictions of maps or cities from an aerial perspective, with references to public space and representations of forests touching on private space. Living in the United States as a former Vietnamese political refugee has influenced the way I integrate ideas of calligraphy, cooking (through the use of food material) and looking at civic space in my work. Thank you for your Consideration.

Website: anthonymeierfinearts.com/artists/tam-van-tran


Select Solo Exhibitions

Psychonaut, Anthony Meier Fine Art, San Francisco, CA

Project Room: Lover of Air, Cohan Leslie and Browne, New York, NY

Turkey Diesel, Dirt Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Select Group Exhibitions

Fata Morgana, Galerie Schmidt Maczollek, Cologne, Germany

Supervision, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA

Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

New Work: LA Painting, Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco, CA

House of Styles, Tri Gallery, Los Angeles, CA


Joan Mitchell Foundation Award

Pollock Krasner Fellowship


M.F.A., 1996
University of California

B.F.A., 1990
Pratt Institute