Drippy Sculptures – Dan Lam by Jason Collins

Abstract texture background

Dan Lam was born in a refugee camp in Morong, Philippines, as a result of her parents fleeing Vietnam back in 1986. Lam spent the first few months of her life there as her family was waiting to move to Houston, Texas by getting sponsorship from fellow family members.

Lam grew up and spent several years of her youth in Texas, and as an only child, she had to learn how to be alone and how to entertain herself. Lam started to make stuff with any materials she could get her hands on, which grew to become her passion for making sculptures. 

As a result, Lam earned her bachelor’s and master’s degree in Drawing and Painting from the University of North Texas and Arizona State University. Dan Lam is known for her famous sculptures that are drippy and goopy in nature. 

Dan Lam’s Artstyle

Lam started her unique art style when one of the professors challenged her as she made her artwork “too pretty,” and as a result, she began exploring the world of excessive beauty in art. She began experimenting with blobs and drips in her artwork as the movement of these sculptures can make it seem as if a sculpture is alive. 

As Lam continued experimenting with her art, she began to explore the meaning of beauty and ugliness in art and how it is perceived. Her sculptures range over the top vivid and bright colors, with a smooth, waxy finish, to sculptors that are spikey that look like they may harm you. 

Lam likes to play with the concepts of organic and inanimate, playful and deadly, and soft and edgy. Lam enjoys experimenting with polar opposites in her artwork.

Dan Lam’s Sculptures 

Lam’s sculptures look like something taken out of the movie Alien, with their strange goopy appearance. 

Too Good To Be True (2019) 

This sculpture is made from polyurethane foam, acrylic, and resin, which gives the sculpture the appearance that it is soft rather than solid. Lam’s inspiration behind this sculpture was nature and the human body. This can be seen in the fluid lines and movement of the drips, like the fluidity of the human body when it runs. 

Lam’s use of colors and textures is both hard and soft. The base of the sculpture is smooth and glossy, giving it a soft and squishy appearance. The pink spikes on the surface create a hardness that stands out against the smoothness of the base. 

Underneath the sculpture is a clear slime that looks like it is oozing out of the sculpture, like a toxic acid spill. The title “Too good to be true” could be playing with the idea of fascination and repulsion. Upon first glance, this sculpture looks cute and spongy, but upon closer inspection, do you notice the spikes and toxic slime oozing out. No longer is the sculpture something cute and squishy, but now it’s something foreign, alien, and repelling. Lam’s work has taken Instagram by storm as viewers are left fascinated with her unique sculptures. Check out some of her work for yourself.

Jason Collins is a freelance writer, epicure, and lover of all things human expression. While he has not had the opportunity to go to the Louvre in-person he has taken more virtual tours than he would care to remember or mention. When he is not out getting lost somewhere in the desert of Nevada he spends most of his time with his two beagles Max and Sherry.

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