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Show RCA 2019

Joanie B. Lam

Show RCA work

Major project:

All Those Who Wonder Are Lost

The pursuit of knowledge is a wonderful journey of infinite possibilities and diversions, pathed with inscrutable and frustrating trials and tribulations. While we are lost and adrift in wonder and in fear, we condemn these unexpected unreasonable deviations as 'missteps from the path of truth'. Yet, truth, the truth that concerns our actual existence and values, the truth that constitutes and shapes our meanings, is never a goal or an end, for the idea of an absolute 'fixed' truth in dogmatism would undermine its metaphysical profoundness and primal unity. Truth should be a living, inwards and continuously occurring subjective experience, gravitating towards the essence of the wholeness of our existence. Something that is not told, but earned — a glimpse at a time. Each tiny yet acute disclosure can only be earned through the most vehement dialectical and critical dialogues between different worlds, paradigms, systems, objects, individuals and the self.

Each unconcealment leads to a fresh start.

The phenomenological nature of subjective truth renders truth forever a mystery to us, owing to the limits of human perception. Although we may never be able to hold any immutable truth in the palm of our hand, we are nevertheless fortunate enough to be able to acquire the wealth of both objective and subjective knowledge in this age of human history.

All Those Who Wonder Are Lost explores the logic of causality, for it attempts to transcend the false struggle between an intention and an aftermath, by reason of unreason. From where do our thoughts begin and to where do they go? It concedes the necessary amount of obscurity, uncertainty and mystery over the edge of the map. Barely could it be treated as a conclusive piece of writing, but it serves its duty as a logbook of a maiden voyage in uncharted waters, waiting for new journeys to begin.


  • Art is my Sisyphean journey in fulfilling an irredeemable redemption arc. Repetitions in physical activities, though tedious, have led me onto the highway of Gelassenheit — perhaps I could think and work my way towards a better life or that I am racing for a magnificent mirage every day: a summer dream of the life of an 'otherwise'.

    Fruits of labour are born in my limboid search of life, my drawings have come along as children of comfort and hope: they came out of me in manual labour, they once existed inside me, now beside me; they are emotionally intimate yet now critically distant, they demand my attention as I am responsible for knowing them. They speak a new language and they interact with the world in their own unique ways.

    As I lack the ability to articulate my practice in its intent, be it purely loving or mentally disturbed, only would the aftermath of labour bear witness to my existence as a creator. The artist's relationship with her work might never be truly resolved given the ongoing, hence incomplete, histories of different parties. I am engulfed in a state of perpetual striving for tomorrow in the midst of uncertainty.

    Perhaps it is why my creations are self-obsessing and it explains my natural inclinations towards mathematical and geometrical imageries, for they do not concern the empirical world, and therefore, they assume freedom from the worldly world for a glimpse of the wonders of an 'otherwise'.

  • Previous degrees

  • BA Fine Art, RMIT University, Melbourne, 2016; BSc International Relations and History, London School of Economics, 2010–12 (Incomplete due to illness)
  • Exhibitions

  • 'Eyes of Many Kinds', CGP Gallery, London, 2019; Fresh Trend 2017 Art Graduates Joint Exhibition, K11 Art Space, Hong Kong, 2017; 'Happily Ever After', Blindspot Gallery, Hong Kong, 2017; 'Reverie', Pao Galleries, Hong Kong, 2017
  • Awards

  • CHS Dissertation Award, Highly Commended, 2018; Mr. Jerry Kwan Memorial Scholarship, 2017; Self-financing Post-secondary Scholarship Scheme from Education Bureau, Outstanding Performance Scholarship, 2017
Royal College of Art