FotoFest Exhibitions

Jane Tam

Click to enlarge and for more image


Foreigners in Paradise began with a photograph of one of the many tin-foiled stovetops that my family installs. Never realizing how odd it might look to the non-Chinese population, the image only registered as alien to my American identity when I moved out of my childhood home. It had become one of those things that I see in my house without seeing anymore. This hybrid culture became the emphasis of the series; the decoration inherited from Guangdong, China and brought to Bensonhurst, Brooklyn is encapsulated in both the homes and the people. With the mix of visual language in these liminal spaces, these environments seem to be “stuck” between two worlds. Foreigners in Paradise is an attempt to understand the knots that are tied within the hybrid identity of being Chinese American.

Fine art photographer, Jane Tam was born in Brooklyn in 1986. She currently lives and works in New York City. Her parents immigrated to New York in the mid-1970s from Guangdong, China and took blue-collar jobs truck driving and working in sweatshops of Chinatown. Most of her work explores the weaving of Chinese and American cultures and how it defines many offspring of workingclass immigrants. Tam has exhibited in venues including the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, Massachusetts; Sasha Wolf Gallery in New York City; Daniel Cooney Fine Art in New York City; and the Pingyao International Photography Festival, China where was awarded the “Emerging Photographer Award.” Tam earned her B.F.A. in photography from Syracuse University, New York. She is also a member of Nymphoto, a women’s photography collective in New York.