Vietnam - Asia 2023 Smart City Summit Hanoi celebrates 15 years of administrative boundary adjustment 12th Vietnam-France decentrialized cooperation conference 31st Sea Games - Vietnam 2021 Covid-19 Pandemic
Home / Arts & Entertainment / Arts
Hanoi-born economist turns painter after overnight
Ngo Minh 22:28, 2023/10/17
A shock brought painter Dao Anh Tho to a turning point, being an artist from a financial expert.

Artist Dao Anh Tho was originally an auditor in Australia, doing a job that had nothing to do with art. After suffering a shock, drawings suddenly appeared in her mind, she took a pen and began to paint.

Viewers and even her parents, renowned lacquer painter Dao Mai Hien and visual artist Dao Anh Khanh, were taken aback by the works of Dao Anh Tho whose artistic alias is CAT.

 Painter Dao Anh Tho (CAT) has a strange attachment to art. Photo courtesy of the artist

CAT was born and raised in a creative environment but she often ignores all things artistic. For a short time as a child, she enjoyed making distinctive clay sculptures and others were amazed by her creations.

But she is more interested in finance. She went abroad to study and worked in this field in many countries. CAT left Vietnam for the USA at the age of 17, then she studied finance in Japan, China, and Australia for several years.

 An original painting in ballpoint pen and its version in lacquer.

At the time, CAT was thirty years old, wealthy, and unhappy. Then she experienced an incident. She descended into a state of disorientation for two days in a row, losing the ability to distinguish between life and death. 

CAT told herself that night, "I was meant to be creative". She felt that there was a "creator" within her because she saw beautiful images in her dreams. She woke up and began to draw, not with a brush or paint, but with a ballpoint pen. CAT's first drawings were faces wearing princess hats. "I didn't have any preparation. I just drew from my imagination. I painted and repainted the same picture every day."

The painting "White flowers planted by my mother".

CAT immersed herself in drawing for a whole year. Every day, she paints for up to 18 hours, absorbed and in a hurry to catch up with what her imagination gives her. Sketches were made continuously, using only a ballpoint pen.

"I didn't have any money at that time, so I drew with a ballpoint pen to make it cheaper," she said.

All her sketches are done with a ballpoint pen and are not erased. She believes that her training in the financial industry has honed her ability to be precise in every detail.

"Her paintings are all done with a ballpoint pen, but there is not a single wrong or misaligned line. Even though I've been drawing for many years, I still have to correct mistakes. I can't explain what happened to CAT," said her father, painter Dao Anh Khanh.

Two versions of the painting Flowers.

Artist Dao Anh Khanh recommended CAT add some colors to the paintings. So CAT asked her mother to teach her how to make lacquer. Then CAT spent only a few weeks to transform ballpoint pen sketches into large-format lacquer paintings.

CAT's paintings are mostly large-format lacquer, meticulously crafted from the smallest details to the overall picture. It is lacquer, but the viewer who looks closely can see the strokes that appear like oil paint, full of generosity. For CAT, there seem to be no boundaries to genre or style, only the boundless universe of imagination she explores daily.

 The painting Reflective Dimension.

She now creates 130 lacquer pieces in the studio, about 190 paintings in drawings, and writes poetry and music for each.

CAT plans to introduce her artworks to the public through the first exhibition titled MetaReverse - Rebirth, which is scheduled to open on October 22 at 65 Hoang Dieu Street, Hanoi.

"Metaverse is a virtual universe, MetaReverse is against the virtual universe. I use the language of creative art to bring people back to the real world. I want to introduce people to a new creative language. We must return to life in the real world because I see many disadvantages in the virtual world," CAT said.

After the exhibition in Hanoi, CAT plans to show her works in HCM City, then in South Korea, Japan, and other countries.

TAG: Hanoi news Vietnam news painting lacquer fine arts exhibition
Other news
22:41, 2023/12/10
Installation art reflects silhouette of Thang Long Imperial Citadel
The exhibition uses 3D mapping technology and installation art to tell the story of Thang Long culture.
16:45, 2023/12/08
Greatest works of arts on display at Hanoi Museum
The exhibition showcases best paintings and sculptures created between 2020-2023 by artists nationwide.
15:46, 2023/12/08
Van Gogh's 360-degree immersive art exhibition comes to Vietnam
Through a masterful fusion of art, narrative, and technology, the exhibition gives viewers a unique intimacy and knowledge of Van Gogh's work.
19:22, 2023/12/03
Photo exhibition "Doai Land's White Clouds" shows beauty of Duong Lam village
The photo exhibition captures the charm of the historic village on the outskirts of Hanoi.
22:18, 2023/11/29
Brand positioning of Hanoi as regional creative city
The Hanoi Creative Design Festival 2023 has ignited an innovative spirit and spread it among creatives and the community, contributing to positioning the brand of Hanoi - Creative City.
07:56, 2023/11/19
Exhibition shows calligraphy combined with light installation
A calligraphy exhibition has kicked off at the Temple of Literature as part of activities to celebrate Vietnam's Cultural Heritage Day (November 23).