Noelle Tan was born in Manila, Philippines in 1969. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from New York University and her Master of Fine Arts degree from the California Institute of Art. She has had solo exhibitions at Civilian Art Projects, Project Gallery 4, and DC Arts Center in Washington; the Center for Photography at Woodstock, NY; School 33 Art Center in Baltimore; and the Creative Artists Agency in Beverly Hills.

She has participated in exhibitions at Silverstein Photography, The Rubin Center, Athens Institute for Contemporary Art, Salina Art Center, Chambers Fine Art and Asian American Arts Center, among others. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Corcoran Museum, the Center for Photography at Woodstock, and the Creative Artists Agency.