Born in Saigon and immigrating to Canada in 1981, Tuan Vu is a Telecommunications Engineer turned self-taught visual artist who studied photography and took painting and drawing classes at the Université de Montréal.
After graduating from high school, Tuan made the decision to become an engineer instead of choosing art. “I don’t know why I made a decision to study science instead of Art,” Tuan says. “Maybe I was afraid of the art world, which I didn’t know at all.”
“I traveled a lot as an engineer so that helped me to open my mind and embrace the cultural aspects of each of the countries that I visited.”
During the pandemic, while everyone was confined, Tuan locked himself in his garage and painted at night while continuing to work as an engineer by day. It became obvious at some point that all his art pieces had to be exposed somewhere, but Tuan found himself at a loss as he didn’t know where to start. Tuan was lucky enough to find YES, a place that has helped him to meet people and learn from their experiences.
“My coach at YES helped me so much through this process,” Tuan says. “First things first, she taught me that I had to accept that “I AM AN ARTIST” and not an engineer. Then, I learned to make contact with the press, build a website, work on my social media profile, etc.”
To prepare for his Endless Summer Solo show this past November at the LivART gallery, his biggest struggles were to juggle the many hats of an emerging artist. “I learned from scratch as I went along,” Tuan says. “From the listing price to making labels, from the press release to making the catalogue. It was very stressful to imagine that I had to fill the entire LivART with my works.”
“Thanks to my Artist Coach, who gave me amazing hints and suggestions, and thanks to the support I received from my family and friends, the exhibition was a huge success,” Tuan says. “The opening night was packed, most of the paintings were sold, and, more significantly, I received a lot of praise for my art: “filled with pure emotion”. Thanks YES!”