Amy Ching-Yan Lam


June 4, 2022Launch of Looty Goes to Heaven in Birmingham (UK) on Sat. June 4th, at the Digbeth Community Garden, with Eastside Projects. I will read from the story I wrote about Looty’s life and afterlife, and as well as be in conversation with historian Sarah Cheang

March 10, 2022 — A poem, Projection, in March 2022 issue of Montez Press’ Interjection Calendar

March 1, 2022 — The Life of a Craphead work King Edward VII Equestrian Statue Floating Down the Don is currently showing in the exhibition Nations by Artists at the Art Museum, University of Toronto

February 28, 2022 — I wrote an essay for the catalogue, Paper Brick, of Steve Kado’s retrospective Me! You can order it now. Steve also made this website!

February 14, 2022 — A call for participants for “Looty’s Lives,” a writing workshop. Part of my upcoming commission for Eastside Projects

Older News

November 25, 2021 — Panel “A note on process” with myself, Rinaldo Walcott, and Jesse McKee, hosted by Gallery TPW

November 14, 2021 — Watch C**kie M*nster *nterpreter, a performance with Oliver Husain, on Twitch. Presented by the 11th Seoul MediaCity Biennale

November 1, 2021 — I’m an artist-in-residence with the “Digital Diasporas” program at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

October 22, 2021 — Collaboration with HaeAhn Kwon in her exhibition Bathroom Classroom at Franz Kaka, Toronto

June 15, 2021 — Reading-launch of The Four Onions, hosted by Mercer Union. I will read from the chapbook and talk with Areum Kim and Teresa Tam of yolkless press.

May 20, 2021 — My first chapbook of poetry The Four Onions is available from yolkless press

December 1, 2020An interview between Life of a Craphead and Aliya Pabani, on the Toronto Biennial of Art podcast.


Looty Goes to Heaven 洛蒂上天堂

Looty Goes to Heaven re-imagines the life of a Pekingese dog that was looted from China during the second Opium War, brought to England, gifted to Queen Victoria and renamed “Looty.” The project takes the form of an animation, a speculative fiction, and a poppy meadow in Birmingham, UK, which is the current site of Crufts, the largest dog show in the world, as well as the home of Ty-phoo tea, a brand named after the Chinese word for doctor. Looty Goes to Heaven pulls at the threads of fantasy, death, and sleep within the trades of tea, opium, and dogs.

Presented by Eastside Projects and Birmingham 2022 Festival, summer 2022.

Animation by Emerson Maxwell.

The Four Onions

These poems started with food. I was writing down what I talked about most, and I talked a lot about the things I eat and don’t eat. For example, beef jerky vs. eggs. I realize now that food was the beginning because 1) my parents ran a café/diner during my adolescence and 2) I am learning about the relationship between history and the senses.

Order from yolkless press or Art Metropole

32 pages, risograph printed, May 2021.

C**kie M*nster *nterpreter

C**kie M*nster *nterpreter is a livestream lecture-performance-performance “about” translation, cuteness and the un-human (monsterdom). Based on a true story!

A collaboration with Oliver Husain. With Aliya Pabani. Sound by Matt Smith/Prince Nifty. Assistance from Monica Moraru.

Watch the archived livestream at

Presented by the 11th Seoul MediaCity Biennale, on Nov. 14, 2021.

Unofficial Commemorative Bench

The Unofficial Commemorative Bench is located in the Glasgow St. Parkette, in Toronto’s Chinatown. The bench marks a relationship between the parkette and the development down the street, “CampusOne,” a privately owned residence aimed towards students where a one-bedroom apartment without a kitchen costs $2,000/mo. Residents of the area opposed this development over several years but ultimately lost. As part of the building going forward, a “community benefits” agreement was made between the developer and the city, which led to the renovation of this parkette. I installed plaques, unofficially, that commemorate the residents’ opposition. You can see the tower from the bench.

Read my essay about the project, see more photos, and listen to visual descriptions in English/Mandarin/Cantonese

Presented by Gallery TPW as part of the Parkettes Project, fall 2021.

Make Believe Bathroom

When stuck at work, the bathroom can be an ideal place to hide or recover. I was asked to make an exhibition during the pandemic fall of 2020 for a university gallery, SFU Gallery; as a result, the Make-Believe Bathroom is an online bathroom modelled after the actual, physical bathroom closest to the gallery on campus. Users of Make-Believe Bathroom can talk to people in stalls next to them, check a phone, view graffiti, leave a message for others, and flush the toilet.

Visit the bathroom at

Video of talk about toilets with HaeAhn Kwon. “Washrooms for all” sticker project in collaboration with TO Toilet Codes.

Web development by Naomi Cui. Graphics by Emerson Maxwell. Audio tours by Aliya Pabani. Curated by Jenn Jackson, fall 2020.

Life of a Craphead

Life of a Craphead was the art collective of myself and Jon McCurley in performance, film, and conceptual art (2006-2020). Our work is archived at


Amy Ching-Yan Lam is an artist and writer. She has presented work both solo and as part of the collective Life of a Craphead. Her work approaches histories, personal and communal, via intuition and necessity. Exhibitions include Entertaining Every Second at Centre Clark and the Life of a Craphead Fifty-Year Retrospective at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Lam has participated in residencies at Macdowell and the Delfina Foundation.

Lam will present a solo exhibition at the Richmond Art Gallery, BC, in April 2023. Her first full-length collection of poetry is forthcoming from Brick Books in spring 2023.

She was born in Hong Kong and lives in Toronto, which is Mississauga Anishinaabeg territory. / twitter @amyclam / IG @amychingyan