FOREIGNERS IN PARADISE
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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
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.