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Artist Statement

I consider myself an artist whose medium is stories, especially those passed on from grandmother to mothers, from father to sons.  Coming from a nomadic childhood, what few possessions we had were of necessities.  Among that our greatest value lied in the stories contributed to us by friends and family.  Embedded within them are connections to our past, our culture and an occasional escape from reality.

My grandmother had a wonderful way of spicing up the traditional fable.  According to her, Cinderella was kept from the Prince’s ball by having to sort a jumble of Mung beans, Red beans and Soybeans.  Snow White went on many dates with Prince Charming before they got married, their first date being a picnic in the park with sandwiches and sliced melons.  These small deviations are what fascinate me with oral traditions.  Ordinary events injected into the world of fantasy makes them more believable but, at the same time, it makes them extraordinary.  Stories enable us to live a more vivid life.

I’ve spent countless hours gathering memories and pieces of different cultures by listening to their stories.  I waited with childlike anticipation and delight on each teller’s words.  I believe it’s my time to be the storyteller and to evoke the same delight and anticipation from my audience.  Each story is a journey that gives us greater understanding of our past and our culture.  Each story is a thread that connects us to each other, the storyteller holding one end and the audience the other.

-Diem Chau