b. 1988, Vancouver, Canada
Karen Thảo La is a multi-disciplinary artist, designer and consultant; living and working in Ho Chi Minh City since 2018.
La’s unfixed practice often finds itself in the liminal space between hyphenated entities; her work, seeking to address the duality it holds. Through an embodied research methodology; she investigates the commonplace rituals in the public/private sphere and their intersection with popular/culture and technology. By listening, observing and participating: she examines the plurality of the body, activities and objects—deriving meaning based on their socioeconomic, geographic and historic contexts.
In 2019, she was an artist in residence at A.Farm: a collaborative project between the Nguyen Art Foundation, Mot+++ and Sàn Art in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. La holds a BFA in Visual Art & Art History from the University of British Columbia and further studied / practiced Jewelry Art & Design.
Commercially, La has worked with numerous independent labels, from her own (defunct) contemporary jewelry line to global fashion and design studios. Collectively amounting to over ten years of experience, developing brand identities and products. La has encompassed the spectrum of labor—collaborating with artists and designers from around the globe to actualize a unified vision.
Between late 2019 to early 2021, La was the managing director at Que by Kaarem in Bình Thạnh, HCMC. In partnership with the brand’s founders, La built and facilitated an environment to create connection and conversation through craft, design, art and food in Vietnam and beyond.