Le Thai Huyen Chau | Vietnam
As we’re about leaving my childhood house soon, I want to turn those precious moments we’ve had here for 25 years into everlasting pieces of artwork that bring us back in time whenever we look at them.
This series of painting is so personal to me. It’s so close to my heart that I don’t think if I can ever draw something else like these at least for now.
Home is where your heart is. This place means more than just a home. It’s a part of me, of who I am today. It’s the place of all my firsts. It’s where I started drawing and growing the love for art. It’s the place that we leave behind but always stay in our hearts, our minds, our souls and our stories.
Contemporary Art Station: Tell us about how you got started. When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
The very first time I have had drawing experience was at kinder garden. As far as I could remember, drawing became my daily activity after school. Time went on, I grew my interest in some other things and purchase another dream. Despite that I knew deep down inside, a part of me was still missing. I’ve struggled with it for quite a long time until I met my boyfriend who is now my husband. He told me to give drawing one more chance. That turned out to be the best decision I have ever made. I have never felt truly alive like this before. I think art and painting has fulfilled my soul. Sometimes, what you have been searching for is right in front of you.
CAS: What is your process like, from initial idea to the creation of the piece? Do you usually develop the idea for a project before you find the "canvas", or vice versa?
I do always have an idea first before starting a painting. But I do not have plan for it. The ideas come to me in various ways, like when I am trying to sleep or brushing my teeth, having a meal or doing housework. I cannot exactly predict what and when I am going to draw. I just do it.
The idea is my starting point and all the emotions, all the thoughts occurring in my head during the process decide the colours, shapes and lines of my artwork.
CAS: What do you love most about your creative process?
Definitely the moment I finished the last touch and know that it is done. Every time I finished a painting, it feels like a question in my mind is answered and my soul is fulfilled. Each one uniquely honestly reflects my inner self.
CAS: What role does art and the artist play in the broader social conversation today?
I would like to put this renowned quote from Matisse to express my opinion: "What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity, devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter, an art which could be for every mental worker, for the businessman as well as the man of letters, for example, a soothing, calming influence on the mind, something like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue."
CAS: Name a few of your favourite artists and influences.
The most exciting question indeed! I have 4 teachers painters. Each of them teaches me one thing that shapes who I am now.
Van Gogh has taught me even in the darkest time of your life you could still create some of the greatest work of yours.
Séraphine has taught me it does not matter where you come from and how you start, your soul would shine upon your artwork.
Matisse has taught me you could creat the best artwork with the simplest shapes and lines.
Last but not least, David Hockney has taught me how to use colours when forgetting all the rules and theories.
CAS: What is the best advice you received as an artist?
Let your soul guide you through the art journey. The best trip is the unplanned.
CAS: When did you discover your voice as an artist?
My paintings are so personal to me. It is so close to my heart. I want people to feel peace, hope and screaming silence in my work, like a cup of hot choco, it gives you chill then encourages you to try one more time.
CAS: What advice would you give to emerging artists trying to find their own?
I am currently at the very early stage of my artist career. I don’t think I’m qualified enough to give advices to anyone. But if I have to, “You are all you need” is what you can consider.
Talk to yourself, listen to yourself, take care of it. Everything you need is right here.