You never forget the first time you see Dan Lam’s work. It might be on your phone screen or in-person but either way, once in your brain, it never leaves.
You catch yourself wondering what exactly that neon blob was made out of? Are the spikes soft or hard? Can I hold it? Is it heavy? Is it plastic or rock? Will it melt? How long did it take to make? Are all those spikes applied by hand? Does it glow in the dark? Can I eat it? Did an alien make this?
The beauty of Dan’s work is that it forces you to think. Art that evokes mystery and intrigue results in a unique cerebral experience for every individual. When confronted with something otherworldly we typically create a narrative or apply an environment from which the artwork is created to better understand its existence. In this instance, there is no rhyme or reason – it exists to confound and elicit your imagination.
For this exhibit Dan has continued to experiment with new materials and concepts. In particular, she has been using a thermochromic paint that will change colors in relation to heat. The combination of organic shapes and vivid colors materializing on the surface creates a unique pattern reflective of its current environment. In many ways, these piece are living and breathing alongside you.
My work has always elicited pretty raw reactions from people, my favorite being the desire to touch the object, to make sense of it with another sense because just seeing it doesn’t satiate the curiosity. I like the tension that is created in that moment. This installation plays with and addresses more directly on that viewer experience. Most of the work in the show utilizes thermochromic paint, which changes colors based on temperature. While the viewers still can’t touch everything, the sculptures can be affected by just a person’s presence. With enough bodies, the work will change more drastically. There is a give and take with the viewer, these new works flirt with them and gives them a little more, but still doesn’t satisfy fully. – Dan Lam