Exhibition - Kenneth Tam: Silent Spikes

Thursday, Mar 25, 2021 at 12:00pm

Queens Museum of Art
New York City Building Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Queens, NY 11368

Please call before attending any community events. It is likely that they will be postponed or canceled as a result of the coronavirus. You can find CDC coronavirus information at cdc.gov/coronavirus; AARP has additional resources at aarp.org/coronavirus.

Kenneth Tam’s work reimagines spaces and social customs for male bodies in order to reveal vulnerable moments that can exist among men. With his solo exhibition, Silent Spikes Tam furthers this address of masculinity, while exploring intersections of race and labor economics. In this new work of video and sculpture, Tam considers how Asian men have been stereotyped and maligned against the iconic trope of American masculinity: the cowboy. The two-channel video incorporates visual and narrative references to the labor strike organized by Chinese Transcontinental Railroad workers in 1867, as well as the loosely scored activities of Tam’s participants, choreographed and free movements, and reflections that promote intimacy and connection to the self. Drawing inspiration from this history, and centuries of discriminatory practices and representation of the Asian male in media and cinema, Tam reflects upon the entangled histories of Westward expansion and immigration in the U.S. by working collaboratively with contemporary subjects of the Asian Diaspora.

Kenneth Tam (b.1982) works in video, sculpture, and photography, using the male body as a starting point for discussions about performance, physical intimacy, vulnerability, and private ritual. Tam received his BFA from the Cooper Union, and his MFA from the University of Southern California. He has had solo exhibitions at the Minneapolis Institute of Art; MIT List Center for Visual Arts; Commonwealth and Council, LA; Night Gallery, LA; and will have a solo exhibition at the Visual Arts Center at UT Austin in Fall 2019. Tam has participated in group shows at 47 Canal, NY; Hollybush Gardens, London; the Hammer Museum, LA; and the most recent InPractice exhibition at SculptureCenter, Queens. He has participated in residencies including Artist Lab at 18th Street Arts Center; LMCC Workspace; The Core Residency Program at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and Pioneer Works. Tam is currently Guest Faculty at Sarah Lawrence College and a Lecturer at Princeton University. Tam was born in Queens, and lives and works in Brooklyn. 

Kenneth Tam: Silent Spikes is organized by Sophia Marisa Lucas, Assistant Curator.

Exhibition Date: February 24, 2021 - June 23, 2021 

Advanced Ticketing (FREE)

All visitors must reserve a timed entry ticket prior to visiting the Queens Museum.

Click here to book your timed tickets. After booking your timed tickets, arrive within 30 minutes of your ticket start time. You will be asked to present your ticket – digital or hard copy – to a Welcome Team Member upon arriving at the museum.  

Additional Dates:

Show More Dates

This event listing provided for the Queens community events calendar. Community events are not associated with or sponsored by AARP, but may be of interest to you. If you have an event to share, let us know!

Images provided by AmericanTowns.com, Ticketmaster

More from AARP in Queens

Upcoming AARP Events

View All AARP Events »

Find information about getting a COVID-19 vaccine in your state. CDC information is available at cdc.gov/coronavirus; additional AARP information and resources are at aarp.org/coronavirus. En español, visite aarp.org/elcoronavirus.

AARP Member Card

Join or Renew Today


  • Immediate access to your member benefits
  • Discounts on travel and everyday savings
  • Subscription to the award-winning AARP The Magazine
  • An ally on the issues that matter most to you in Queens
  • Free membership for your spouse or partner