Sculptor Dan Lam Blends the Outside World Into Her Genesis G70 Art Car

Dallas-based artist Dan Lam took inspiration from her time driving the G70, and sought to melt her experience with the world passing by outside the windows into her art work

About the artist

Dripping, drizzling and oozing over, the vibrant sculptures of Dallas-based artist Dan Lam give the illusion that they’re organic materials in motion. In fact, however, they’re hard polyurethane foam imaginings covered in colorful acrylics and resins. Lam’s work embodies contrast; within, she pairs unexpectedly complementary colors, pauses motion and defies expectation. Whether it’s through her tactile forms or new forays into projection mapping, Lam presents more than gestural works, but inventions with personality.

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Artist Dan Lam took inspiration from her time driving the G70, and worked with digital designer Stephen Judge to bring her vision of the world passing outside the windows to life.

It’s a desire for exploration that led her to take on an art car commission from Genesis, to create work inspired by their G70 automobile alongside two other artists. “At first, I was like, ‘oh, I don’t know, I don’t make digital art.’ I wasn’t sure. But I love the unexpected. I feel like it’s a way to think outside the box—to get out of my comfort zone. I don’t normally work with cars. I don’t work digitally. But those are challenges, rather than problems. So I set off to do it.”

Lam was drawn to the “little unexpected elements of the car—the air vents, the ambient sound options. But once I drove the car, that was where the inspiration really struck. Driving the car was really, really nice. I really enjoyed it. I felt very much like I was with the road when I was in the Genesis G70.”

For her digital art concept, Lam partnered with designer Stephen Judge to help bring her vision of the outside world in. “I have a view of the interior of the car, with the windows and everything. And my idea is to have the sky start to melt into the vehicle. It represents that feeling of driving and being a part of your environment around you.”

Once I drove the car, that was where the inspiration really struck.

Lam’s been making art since she was a child. “I was always working with my hands. I was very crafty. I’d see things that I’d want to change, and then do it. Then, when I got to high school, I realized that I could follow art as a career path.” In college, she started out with graphic design but ultimately it wasn’t a fit. From drawing and painting to her sculpting studio practice, Lam has quested to find a signature style. 

“You could take one of my pieces from today and you could put it right next to something that I painted 10 years ago, and you could definitely see the evolution of my visual language,” she says. “It’s something that I’m continuously trying to refine—but I feel like it’s all connected.”

“As an artist, I’m always trying to grow and push myself and be out of my comfort zone,” she explains about the path into her style. “Because that’s what I think leads you to your voice. If you’re always pushing and trying to get deeper into something, that’s when your work starts to become uniquely yours.”

Her forms are indicators—both warning signs and enticing entities. “People come into the studio, and they’re like, ‘can I touch this sculpture?’ This is such an interesting thing because when you go and look at art in a gallery or museum, you’re not allowed to touch anything. The fact that people are interested in touching my work, I think there’s something so cool about that. When you make art, it’s very insular, you’re by yourself. But then to have people react this way, it’s another step into the process.” 

Lam attributes some of this attraction to her forms and colors, but also to the power of nature. “It’s the best artist. Everything we’re drawn to, I feel like you can find it in nature. It’s there. It’s because we’re with nature—we are nature.” Though her drips attract, she also creates spikes to prevent the need to touch; it’s another dualism to her work.

“When I delve into opposing ideas,” she concludes, “there is a lot of space in-between the bookends. There’s so much to explore there. New things come from this interspace—and I think maybe that’s why people are so drawn to my work. It touches on things that they are familiar with, but in a way that hasn’t been explored as often.”

Dan Lam

Artist, Dallas, TX

Bio

Dan Lam’s work straddles the line between numerous dichotomies. By navigating the realm between attraction and repulsion, organic and inanimate, seriousness and playfulness, soft and hard, Lam conjures up her idiosyncratic vision. As a result, the work strikes a deft balance between seemingly disparate concepts, subsequently inspiring a range of emotions and ideas from the viewer.

Known for her bold and unique sculptures, she rose to popularity and prominence through social media, particularly Instagram. Her body of work ranges from gallery exhibitions to large-scale installations to brand collaborations. She exhibits in the US and internationally with upcoming shows in Denver, Portland, and Los Angeles.

Lam was born in the Philippines while her family was immigrating from Vietnam to the United States. She was raised in Texas where she received her Bachelor in Fine Arts from the University of North Texas in 2010. She received her Masters in Fine Arts in 2014 from Arizona State University.

Lam currently resides and works in Dallas, TX.