The ubiquitous presence of Chinese restaurants overseas has long been the default and emblematic symbol of Chinese diasporic life. Chinese restaurants are the archetype of a constructed Chineseness meeting the nostalgic ideal of an ancestral homeland. In their many yet all so stereotypical incarnations, these places have acquired names that riff off a few words to embody an oriental experience: Lucky Garden, Mandarin City, Bamboo Palace, New Peking City, Crane Garden, Lotus, Ming Garden. Lap-See Lam puts herself—and us with her—in a relationship to the Chinese restaurants, challenging both the Western historical fascination and its fear by seeking out other realms. It would seem that at the heart of it all, Lam's practice is guided by a simple question: What are the implications of something looking Chinese?
The exhibition Dreamers' Quay, Dreamers' Key at Bonniers Konsthall is composed like an all-encompassing installation where shadow play, sculptures and music take visitors on a journey through time, space and dreams. This is the artist Lap-See Lam's most comprehensive solo exhibition to date and explores the narrative of the Cantonese diaspora in Sweden.
In addition to a richly-illustrated presentation of recent and earlier works, this publication includes essays by Theodor Ringborg, Stephanie Cristello, Mara Lee Gerdén, Yuvinka Medina, Svante Tirén, and Xiaoyu Weng. Together, the texts provide an in-depth understanding of Lam's artistry. Foreword by Artistic Director, Theodor Ringborg.
Published on the occasion of the eponymous exhibition at Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm, in 2022.
Lap-See Lam was born in Stockholm in 1990. Her practice develops around storytelling through text, animations, and sculptural installations. Her multifaceted stories explore the narrative of the Cantonese diaspora in Sweden and examine questions of cultural identity.