Emily Tan is an accomplished abstract painter, live performance artist, and DJ with over seven years of professional experience. Graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Tampa, she has also distinguished herself as an art curator, creative director, and social media expert. Tan’s artistic expertise spans a diverse range of mediums, including acrylics, house paint, dye, found objects, and digital tools, often integrating music, dance, and yogic movement into her live performance work. Her art, characterized by organic abstractions, employs patterns and repetition to evoke a sense of psychological ease and meditation in viewers. 

Emily Tan with her artwork at a Tampa Equinox event (C) Shadow / Tampa Equinox

What Inspires Emily Tan's Art?

Tan's passion for art stems from a personal journey of self-expression and identity formation, in response to feelings of otherness and inadequacy in her youth. Art has served as Tan’s refuge and a means to reclaim her story, and power. 

Tan has showcased her talents in over 50 live events across Florida, Georgia, and New York, and contributes to the art community by teaching at the Tampa Museum of Art, where she continues to inspire and shape emerging artists. 

Emily Tan DJing. Courtesy of Emily Tan.

Emily Tan As DJ: What Inspires Her Music?

Immersed in music's influence, Tan’s work naturally vibrates with the frequencies of melody, harmony, and rhythm. Like a painter wielding a sonic brush, Tan visualizes music in intricate patterns, her synesthesia transforming sound into a dazzling dance of shapes and colors. This profound connection led her to explore DJing in 2020, seeking a creative outlet during the shutdown. Tan’s unique perception fuels her innovative DJ sets and electrifying paint performances, where she seamlessly blends art and music, defying conventional boundaries. 

Emily Tan in studio (C) Shadow

Emily Tan's Horsefly (Transformative) Weedsday Playlist

For her Weedsday Playlist, Tan chooses a symbol both natural and creatively inspiring: “A horsefly inspired this playlist. It came to me while I was creating this playlist, which made me take notice because I had never seen one since moving to Florida. When I was a kid, I swam in a pool that was infested with them. We would hide underwater and hold our breath for as long as we could, so we wouldn’t get bit. The horsefly symbolizes resilience, strength, adaptability, and transformation. This playlist is a time capsule of what has inspired me to paint and perform over the past seven years.”  

Grimes - "Genesis"

This song inspired my solo show at The Blue Goose in Downtown [St. Petersburg, Florida], May 2017. Now, I like to incorporate it into my DJ sets; it's ethereal and hopeful. I like the overall theme of love, ups and downs in the lyrics and chords — it’s a song that has changed for me over time. In 2017, it was a song that helped me escape the fear of falling in love, and now it encompasses how all that love has transformed. 

Click here to play on Spotify!

Fred again... - "Kyle (I found you)"

This song makes me smile, BIG. Something about the simplistic baseline carrying you throughout the song, pulling away certain sounds for muffled lyrics gives butterflies and goosebumps. I see so many colors when listening to this song, big brushstrokes with lots of light. 

Click here to play on Spotify!

*Editor's Note: Did you know? Our Academy's Executive Director Hilary Yu chose Brittany Howard's "Stay High again..." featuring Fred again... for her Weedsday Playlist. Check it out here.

Harold van Lennep - "Liberation"

This song just induces movement. The lyrics could be a speech, systemic contradiction, what happens when life breaks down, a person may end up believing in anything. All challenging topics happening today…. One of my top picks for a future paint performance. 

Click here to play on Spotify!

Veronique Sanson - "Bernard's Song"

This song would make me run to the dance floor if I heard it in public. I don’t speak French but it doesn't matter, dance has no language barrier! 

Click here to play on Spotify!

Dynoro And Gigi D'Agostino - "In My Mind"

This song is such a classic. One of my favorite local DJs, Lyndon [Uy], played it at one of his last sets before he passed. This song will always remind me of him and everything he taught me over the years. He always empowered me to play outside of the box and not to be contained by a certain genre or BPM.

Click here to play on Spotify!

For more about Emily Tan, visit emilytan.art.

What are your favorite Weedsday tracks? Tell us about them - reach out at @honeysucklemagazine on Instagram and @HoneysuckleMag on Twitter!

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Emily Tan

Tampa Museum of Art

Gigi D'Agostino

Harold van Lennep

Zoe Wilder


Featured image: Emily Tan with her artwork at a Tampa Equinox event (C) Shadow / Tampa Equinox