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Item Name: Sculpture
Title: Blood and Tears
Maker: Karen Tam
Year: 2018
Materials: laser-cut and engraved steel panels
Measurements: Each Panel: : 79.5 inches (height) x 44.713 inches (length) x 3/16 inches (depth)
ID Number: PC2019.1

Extended Label Info: Similar to a folding screen, this 3-panel cutout metal structure looks at the Chinese restaurants and cafés that dotted the Saskatchewan landscape between the 1930s and 1950s. In thinking about the history of a place, Karen Tam researched city directories and a ledger kept by a prominent Chinese businessman in Victoria’s Chinatown in the 1930s who listed his restaurant contacts in the Prairies, many in Saskatchewan. They may have settled in those towns permanently or may have moved on, but the only trace of their existence may be in ledgers such as this one, in listings or ads in the phone directories. Tam's "Blood and Tears" sculpture is her contribution to collecting and creating an archive of the Chinese Canadian restaurant community, and perhaps in doing so may be seen as a counter-archive and an act of resistance to what has been erased, left, out, and interpreted in public and dominant histories. Karen Tam (1977- )is a Montréal-based installation artist and has exhibited her work and participated in residencies in North America, Europe, and China. Tam was a finalist for the City of Montréal’s Prix Louis-Comtois in 2017, 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 a MFA in Sculpture (School of the Art Institute of Chicago) and a PhD in Cultural Studies (Goldsmiths, University of London). She is represented by Galerie Hugues Charbonneau.