Viet

Chau Thuy
Viet

ArtPublished May 2010

Artist
Chau Thuy,
Santa Ana

See It
Make an appointment to see Thuy’s work in his home studio by sending an e-mail to chauthuy@chauthuy.com

Background
The often lonely Vietnamese refugee taught himself to draw in his college dorm during the holidays because he had nowhere else to go. Over time, he developed a style he calls “impressionistic calligraphy,” in which the letters double as forms and the pictures tell a story.

Creation
Thuy, who quit an engineering job in 2003 to study calligraphy in Vietnam, mixes his inks and water with a mortar and pestle to get the right consistency. He struggles constantly to control the ink as it passes from brush to paper, and he has to get it right the first time—or start over.

Inspiration
“Viet” is infused with Thuy’s longing for his homeland, and expresses the courage of his countrymen, as in the sword that forms the “t” and the proud figure that stands for the “i.” “I hope my artistic expression reveals the honor and pride of the Viet people and helps to bring our culture closer to the rest of the world.”

Front and Center

Stepping Up
Since Ballet Pacifica’s demise in 2007, Festival Ballet Theatre of Fountain Valley has helped fill the void in the local professional dance scene. The company stages annual shows at the Irvine Barclay Theatre and took over the presentation of “The Nutcracker” there.

This month, Festival Ballet premieres Protégé & Stars, a festival for rising dancers, says Salwa Rizkalla, company founder and artistic director. “You hear about young athletes all the time, but nobody knows about young dancers. This will get them recognition.”

Participants include the winners of the Youth America Grand Prix, an international student ballet scholarship competition, and members of companies such as Houston Ballet II, the secondary troupe of the nation’s fourth-largest ballet company. The festival, Rizkalla adds, is a showcase for these deserving “apprentices” as well: “This is what they live for; they sacrifice so much for this kind of moment.”

Protégé & Stars takes place May 7 at the Irvine Barclay Theatre, 949-854-4646, www.festivalballet.org.

Tidbit

Ribbit. Chirp. Gulp.
The subjects of The Muzeo’s “Frogs” exhibit live in climate-controlled enclosures that range from 76 to 80 degrees. Most feast on a diet of crickets dusted with a multivitamin. www.muzeo.org.

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