Lam’s work is an invitation to quite literally meditate. Meditation requires that an individual awaken all their senses and become aware of whatever may arise in consciousness—a car horn, a gust of wind, the smell of coffee. The point is simply to sit in the present moment. In the same way, Lam suggests the importance of sitting still and observing for a time. Because her paintings abound with movement and intensity, it’s necessary that her audience do the opposite. In her series, Cholon, Not Forgotten, Lam constructs multiple tapestries on each canvas, utilizing brisk, short brushstrokes and a splattering of exquisite colours to depict frenzied cityscapes and blinding explosions in the sky. This is a Vietnam torn apart by napalm, bombs, grief, and destruction. But it’s also a Vietnam where life, love, and celebration persist. There is joy here still.