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Story of the Month - September 2018

Updated: Sep 9, 2020

Centre Fellow Professor Tam Wai Ping serves the Department of Fine Arts, The Chinese University of Hong Kong as an Associate Professor. He is also the chairman and one of the founders of Art Map, and works as an independent art curator. Professor Tam experiments with various media in art, but his works of installation, photography, and environmental art are more notable. His projects are varied in themes, ranging from the self to society. Professor Tam explained that his notion of art serves two approaches mainly; one allows individuals to connect with their mind and consciousness, and the other through public engagement, connects communities through lenses of art.


Professor Tam’s early work explores the definition of “Real”, to search the situational difference between fact and reality. He has been finding ways to contextualize history and contemporary life, exploring the relationship between “Individual and Land”, and leading to the investigation of “Modernity” in Asian values.


His more recent interests examine relationships between “Text”, “Object” and “Image” which re-evaluates how art can serve as a cognitive experience. His installation in 2015 entitled “Dream No Dream” is the outcome of his experimentations to find epiphany by observing other people’s lives through their sleep. In the spring of 2007, he went to Tokyo and entered the homes of local people at night to quietly watch them sleep. Through this he came to realise that there was love (craving), suffering, ignorance, clinging and birth in lives, but still he has not achieved enlightenment and he found life to be but a bigger dream beyond a dream. Wakefulness is only another big dream, but people tend to think they have already achieved awakening. He recognises there are true images, awareness, awakening and death in a dream.  In “Dream No Dream” these are put in four different rooms for the audience to interpret on their own.


Caption:  Dream No Dream by Tam Wai Ping.  Artist Statement: A dream is where we want to clarify what is unclear; reality is where we do not want to clarify what is already too clear…   (Photo Credit: Tam Wai Ping)

圖片說明:夢非夢 譚偉平作品。藝術家陳述:夢是那種不清楚而想弄清楚之事,而現實是那種太清楚,但不想弄清楚的事情… …(圖片來源:譚偉平)

In his other curatorial projects engaging with the community, Prof Tam invited artists to create sculptures and installations as a way of bridging communities. For example, in the “Wishing Tree” project at the Hong Kong Children’s Hospital, the public write and hang cards of encouragement on the tree, bringing much hope and strength to children patients who are on their journey of recovery.


Caption: Wishing Tree by David Rittinger. (Photo credit: Tam Wai Ping)

文字說明:許願樹 - David Rittinger 作品(圖片來源:譚偉平)

Professor Tam has also invited a group of ceramics artists—Fiona Wong, Ray Chan, Ben Yau, and Connie Tsang to create the artwork “Ceramic Leaves”, in order to allow the public to be more in touch with nature and to understand the local floras and insects.

譚教授還邀請了一群陶瓷藝術家- 黃麗貞、陳思光、丘文彬及曾秀英一同創作了“陶瓷葉子”,以便讓公眾能夠更了解大自然和本地的昆蟲植物。

 Caption: Ceramic Leaves by Fiona Wong, Ray Chan, Ben Yau, and Connie Tsang   (Photo credit: Tam Wai Ping)

文字說明:陶瓷葉子 - 黃麗貞、陳思光、丘文彬及曾秀英作品(圖片來源:譚偉平)

More details of Professor Tam’s projects can be found on website of Department of Fine Arts, CUHK:


Professor Tam’s company website, Art Map can be found here:

譚教授的公司網站Art Map可以在這裡找到:


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