Kenneth Tam

BFA, Cooper Union. MFA, University of Southern California. Core Residency Program, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Workspace program, 2017-2018. Solo exhibitions at Night Gallery and Commonwealth & Council, Los Angeles, and at MIT’s List Center for Visual Art. Participated in the 2016 Made in LA Biennial at the Hammer Museum and will have a solo exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Art in 2018. His work has been written about in
Artforum, Los Angeles Times, Frieze, Modern Painters, Contemporary Art Review, LA, T Magazine, and ArtReview. Recipient of a grant from the Art Matters Foundation, the California Community Foundation Fellowship, and a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant. Taught at Rice University and a faculty member at Bard’s Avery Milton School of the Arts. SLC, 2017–

Undergraduate Courses 2017-2018

Visual and Studio Arts

Sculpture and Play Redux

Open , Seminar—Spring

Please bring images of any relevant past work or ideas for possible future projects to the interview.

In this semester-long course, students will learn to play. This is not the innocent play of the schoolyard but one where ideas about sculpture and object-making are understood through constant physical experimentation coupled with thoughtful reflection and critical thinking. The class will use play as a principle from which to approach artmaking and will emphasize the way “playing” can inform creative activity through artistic, material investigations. This class will introduce students to various fundamental techniques and principles related to sculpture and to contemporary art in general. The course will consist of in-class demonstrations and presentations, assigned projects, readings, and field trips to galleries and museums. Assignments will culminate in a group critique, which will give students the opportunity both to engage with each other directly about their work and learn from one another and to value divergent opinions from the class as a whole through critical dialogues. This class will look at a wide range of artists that work within and at the edges of the contemporary sculptural field and will give students a basic familiarity with contemporary sculptural practice in its many forms. Students will learn to work with standard sculptural materials, as well as those of a less conventional nature. Throughout the semester, students will be encouraged to consider how sculpture can act as a mode of physical and even conceptual play and how this sustained play can become a way of thinking creatively. They will not only learn how things are made but, more importantly, how they can come apart and be expressed differently. Students are not expected to have prior knowledge about contemporary art or sculpture. Rather, they are asked to bring a fearless and adventurous attitude to both the classroom and their projects. The goal of this class is to further one’s appreciation of sculpture as related to contemporary art and to give students the opportunity to re-imagine the physical world by way of the creative act. Students will be expected to challenge themselves through their work, enrich the in-class dynamic through their active participation, and, most importantly, play.


Sculpture and Play 3D

Open , Seminar—Fall

In this class, pupils will play. This is not similar to your frivolous playing of schoolyard days past. In contrast, our group will study and absorb various critical notions of play and approach artmaking with similarly mirthful inclinations. Our class will instruct pupils in ways of artmaking that favor innovatory and idiosyncratic paths of thought. Sculptural missions will strain and push you to spin away from familiar orbits; and on many occasions, such labors will call for working conjointly in pursuit of mutual goals. I will instruct you on how to work with many forms and flavors of sculptural stuffs, in both orthodox and atypical fashions. In addition, throughout our class various writings, films and sundry productions will highlight ways in which past artists and savants brought forth artworks with a similar spirit. As class tutor, I will ask you to think on how sculptural activity can function playfully and how play can allow us to summon, in thought and in application, that which is unfamiliar, risky, and supraordinary. Lack of past qualifications will not bring a look of low opinion upon you. All I ask is for you to show up with a thoughtful, curious mind and a daring spirit to invigor our classroom and my instruction. Look into a void, and what fascinations will turn up?