Artist's Bio


Tong Lam is a historian and visual artist. His research interests cover modern and contemporary China, technoscience, media and spectacle, ruins and noir urbanism, as well as colonialism and empire. As a visual artist, he is particularly interested in using photographic and cinematographic techniques to explore and examine industrial and postindustrial ruinscapes, as well as China's hysterical transformation. His first photo essay book, Abandoned Futures: A Journey to the Posthuman World (Darlington: Carpet Bombing Culture, 2013) is a visual ethnography of modern ruinscapes and a meditation on the questions of time and modernity. Lam is also the author of A Passion for Facts: Social Surveys and the Construction of the Chinese Nation-State, 1900-1940 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011). Lam has contributed photo essays to literary publications such as the Dissent Magazine, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and Chutzpah! Magazine, and has also been invited to exhibit his photographs internationally. Lam received his PhD in History from the University of Chicago and is an associate professor of History at the University of Toronto.

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