Karen Tam

2024 Exhibition Artist

Karen Tam (she/her) is a Tiohtià:ke/Montréal-based artist and curator whose research focuses on the constructions and imaginations of cultures and communities. In her installations, she recreates Chinese restaurants, karaoke lounges, opium dens, curio shops and other sites of cultural encounters. Since 2000, she has exhibited her work and participated in residencies in North America, Europe, and China, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, He Xiangning Art Museum, Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, McCord Stewart Museum, and the Deutsche Börse Residency at the Frankfurter Kunstverein. She has received grants and fellowships from the Canada Council for the Arts, Conseil des Arts du Québec, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Tam was the winner of the 2021 Giverny Capital Prize awarded by the Fondation Giverny pour l’art contemporain, a finalist for the 2017 Louis-Comtois Prize, a finalist for the 2016 Prix en art actuel from the Musée National des beaux-arts de Québec, and long-listed for the 2010 and 2016 Sobey Art Awards.


Tam holds an MFA in Sculpture (School of the Art Institute of Chicago) and a PhD in Cultural Studies (Goldsmiths, University of London). She is the Adjunct Curator at Griffin Art Projects and a contributor to ‘Asia Collections Outside Asia: Questioning Artefacts, Cultures and Identities in the Museum’ (2020), edited by Iside Carbone and Helen Wang, and ‘The Changing Landscape of China’s Consumerism’ (2014), edited by Alison Hulme. Her work is in museum and corporate collections such as the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Musée national des Beaux-arts du Québec, Global Affairs Canada (Embassy of Canada in London), Hydro-Québec Art Collection, La Caisse de dépôt du Québec, Collection of the Royal Bank of Canada, TD Group, Microsoft Art Collection, and in private collections in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. She is represented by Galerie Hugues Charbonneau.