The Grief Gallery
GRIEF AND LOSS EXPLORED THROUGH ART AND DESIGN
CURATOR, CHARLENE LAM
The Grief Gallery
PUTTING THE SPOTLIGHT ON
The Belongings of Loved Ones Lost
CURATED BY CHARLENE LAM
The Grief Gallery presents exhibitions, installations and events featuring the belongings of loved ones lost during international design festivals, including NYCxDESIGN, the London Design Festival and DesignTO (Toronto).
After independent curator Charlene Lam lost her mother suddenly in 2013, she leaned into her creativity and curatorial instincts to guide herself through grief. Faced with the impossible task of emptying out her mother’s dream house, she asked herself: “If I was to do an exhibition about my mother, which 100 objects would I choose?”
That question — “If I was to do an exhibition about my mother, which 100 objects would I choose?” — was the key to making progress with her mom’s belongings, moving through her grief and moving forward with her own life. It was also the seed for The Grief Gallery, with the first exhibition incorporating her mom’s belongings taking place in London in 2015.
In the years since, through The Grief Gallery, her work as a certified grief coach and her Curating Grief framework, she spotlights the objects left behind after a loved one dies as a powerful source of connection, awareness and healing.
This is The Grief Gallery’s core belief:
We are ALL curators after a loved one dies.
WORK WITH ME
It's a common problem: How do you choose what to keep after a loved one dies?
She Was Asian American
Part of NYCxDESIGN, May 2022
Featuring photographs, belongings and stories of Asian American women, including the curator’s Chinese-American mother and other family members
The Grief Gallery at DesignTO
During Toronto’s annual design festival, The Grief Gallery welcomed visitors to acknowledge personal and collective losses through the contemplation and celebration of objects: the belongings of loved ones lost.
WHAT THE CAMERA CAPTURES
An online exhibition exploring the role of the camera in processing grief and loss during New York City's annual design festival. Three New York creatives who have lost loved ones share their photography-based projects.
The Grief Gallery: Created & Commissioned
Visitors are invited to explore these universal themes through creative work commissioned in memory of loved ones.
This Is How We Remember
The belongings of loved ones lost are captured in a series of illustrations by Brooklyn-based painter and designer Yeesan Loh.
Why a Grief Gallery?
When my mom died 9 years ago, I was working as an independent curator in London. My pop-up exhibitions showcased the work of designers, makers and artists, under the names Creative Clerkenwell and The Creative Edit.
When it came time to pick out an urn for my mom’s ashes, I commissioned a custom porcelain urn from an East London ceramicist whose work I loved.
That was the start of my work as a Grief Curator. Over the years, I’ve commissioned illustrations, paper art and photoshoots in memory of my mom and others’ loved ones. I’ve presented exhibitions in London and Brooklyn about grief and loss.
Channeling my grief into creating and commissioning work from designers and makers has been an incredibly rewarding and healing experience.
After an extended period of grief and loss on many levels, I invite visitors to explore the universal themes of grief and loss through this creative lens. Out of darkness and pain, we can craft beauty and create meaning.
- Charlene Lam, Curator and Founder, The Grief Gallery
Latest Exhibition: Red Ribbon Dance, Lunar New Year 2023
Join us for The Grief Gallery's monthly grief gathering the last Wednesday of the month.
More grief events from Charlene and The Grief Gallery