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.