Master Tam Shek-Wing (1935–), born in Guangzhou, China, is a third generation painter of the Lingnan and Geshan schools of painting. Tam trained under Zhang Chunchu (1869–1943) and Zhao Chongzheng (1910–1968), the first and second generation masters of the Lingnan and Geshan schools. For his innovative style while abiding to tradition, Tam is considered by critics a literati painter of the Lingnan School, a rare accolade among very accomplished painters. The father of Lingnan, Gao Jianfu (1879–1951) believed that for the Lingnan genre to continue to thrive, it must become a type of literati painting, something that Tam has achieved for the genre. This view is commonly shared among Chinese connoisseurs within China and overseas. Tam is one of the few authentic painters of the Cantonese genre.
Tam spent his youth immersed in Chinese classics, with a special interest in Buddhism. Later in life, he practiced Buddhism under the guidance of His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche (1904–1987), head of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. Since 1993, Tam shouldered the responsibility of editing and translating Buddhist scriptures and commentaries, producing four separate series presenting the Tathagatagarbha doctrine – more than 80 books have been published, and are respected by scholars and practitioners worldwide. His most recent work is a series of commentaries called Beyond Words aiming to point out the key teaching (“beyond words”) in Buddhist scriptures.
Tam is the founder of the Sino-Tibetan Buddhist Studies Association in North America. Sparking interests from scholars in China and elsewhere, he helped established the first Centre for Sino-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Renmin University in China. Since 2008, he has been the visiting professor at Renmin University, and a frequent speaker at Hangzhou, Nanjing and other places.
Tam is currently on the governing council for the Ontario Chinese Artists Association.
Produced with the support of the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council.