Cindy M. Petersen, EdM
Taubman Museum of Art
The first time I laid eyes upon Mindy Lam’s work, I knew that I would someday be writing this foreword because, like most who view her creations, I was immediately captivated not only by her talents, but also by the compelling manner in which her creations beckoned me in an otherworldly sort of way. It was not until I later had the pleasure of spending time with Mindy in person that I understood why her pieces made me feel that way. Mindy Lam is from another world. It’s a world of fantasy wrapped in beauty and creativity that is both delicate and powerful.
Featuring semi-precious stones, as well as precious metals, her pieces are unquestionably of the physical world. But once these elements are in her nimble hands, the physical world is quickly left behind as she entwines delicate representations of the celestial reverie and mystical musings that she sees in the everyday world.
Realizing how truly powerful Mindy’s gift of interpretation was, we challenged her to create pieces inspired by the stories she might see in various works on view here at the Taubman Museum of Art. The result is Opulence and Fantasy: Couture Gowns and Jewelry of Mindy Lam, an exhibition that weaves its way through our galleries, pairing Mindy’s creations with the works to which her creations pay homage.
In the Fralin Center for American Art, for example, we see intricate works from Mindy inspired by our permanent collection: Emil Carlsen’s The Leeds Jug, Johann Hamza’s The Curiosity Shop, and Lawrence Beck’s Sterling Forest Water Lily I, all among my favorites, as well as our much adored and ever popular Portrait of Norah Gribble by the esteemed John Singer Sargent.