MetaReverse - Rebirth: Debut Solo Exhibition by artist Dao Anh Tho in Hanoi

WVR - On October 22, Discover MetaReverse - Rebirth Exhibition by CAT - Dao Anh Tho, was opening at Lunet Art Galerie, 63-65 Hoang Dieu, Ba Dinh, Hanoi.
MetaReverse - Rebirth: Debut Solo Exhibition by artist Dao Anh Tho in Hanoi
Painter Dao Anh Tho (CAT) has a strange attachment to art. (Photo courtesy of the artist)

The MetaReverse - Rebirth Exhibition is a reflection of CAT's artistic voyage and a narrative of pivotal moments in the artist's life between 2021 and 2022. The exhibition showcases 17 lacquer paintings (measuring 168cm x 120cm), 17 pen-and-ink sketches on paper, 6 poems, and 6 songs composed by CAT.

Each of the 17 pieces in MetaReverse - Rebirth comes with an unique story and title: Reflective dimensions, The wife beater, Dust joyously wandering, Kieu Lac Hon, Kidzoona, Cactus rock band, 2$ gas tank, Music everywhere, White flower my mom planted, Cold, Acid rain, On time, Music in my soul, Power inside, The cat man, Em Bi reimagined, and Catgut embedding.

MetaReverse stands in stark contrast to the concept of the Metaverse, representing boundless creativity where the artist becomes a vessel for all-encompassing creativity. This creativity integrates the artist's essence with the universe, firmly anchored in the values of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty for humanity.

CAT aspires to employ the language of creative art to reverse the effects of the artificial world and bring people back with the real world. CAT expressed: "I intend to introduce a new creative language to all. Having observed the downsides of the virtual realm, I hope to guide us back to the realm of reality".

Born Dao Anh Tho in 1989, CAT hails from an artistically enriched family in Hanoi. Her mother, Bui Mai Hien, is a celebrated lacquer artist, and her father, Dao Anh Khanh, is a prominent contemporary performer in Vietnam.

For 31 years, Dao Anh Tho's life revolved around studying and working in the finance sector across multiple countries, including the United States, Australia, Japan, and China. Art was a recurring theme in her life, though she had never considered becoming an artist herself. Her artistic journey commenced with a life-altering event just before her 32nd birthday, a transformative experience that marked the inception of her artistry.

On August 18, 2021, her 32nd birthday, CAT created her first drawings with a ballpoint pen, crafting princess crowns on a blank piece of paper. Her inaugural work, titled Reflection dimension, was completed in less than a month on September 15, 2021. This marked the commencement of an uninterrupted six-month artistic journey, which saw her transform 20 pen-and-ink sketches on paper into 22 substantial lacquer paintings (168cm x 120cm). In this creative phase, CAT also composed a musical album, featuring 6 songs she wrote and performed, with musical arrangements by Trí Minh and Rabih Bardawheel.

Recounting her near-death experience, CAT revealed that it endowed her with the courage and strength to live authentically. She took a drastic step to renounce her past, departing from social media, transitioning to using a basic mobile phone, and embarking on her artistic odyssey.

Her near-death experience unveiled the transience of life and prompted her to live life to the fullest, pouring all her mental and physical energy into her creative work. Her passion led her to paint continuously for 17 to 18 hours every day. Across two years, she completed 8 chapters, each comprised of 22 large lacquer paintings. Her workshop currently houses 110 paintings sized 1.68m x 1.20m, along with 44 expansive 4.80m x 3.60m lacquer paintings in various stages of development.

CAT's American boyfriend, Robert Cossak, accompanied and supported her during her artistic journey over two years. Their travels to various Asian countries, including Japan, Republic of Korea, India, Singapore, and Malaysia, coupled with visits to four major U.S. cities and five European countries, fostered an environment of diverse experiences that provided the impetus for her creative inspirations.

MetaReverse - Rebirth: Debut solo exhibition by artist Dao Anh Tho
MetaReverse - Rebirth exhibition by CAT - Dao Anh Tho, opening on October 22 at Lunet Art Galerie, 63-65 Hoang Dieu, Ba Dinh, Hanoi. Photo courtesy of the artist

CAT remarked: "The more I reflect and experience, the more I clearly understand my initial instinctual belief, and it is through this shift in perspective that my life has changed and opened a new chapter. Every day I wake up, I am passionate about my work, living in the holy peace, surrounded by the love of family and friends, and seeing my child happy and smiling every day. So what has brought about this miraculous change in me? It's the message encoded in MetaReverse, a love letter that will accompany me from the beginning to the end of my artistic life".

Making her debut with the MetaReverse - Rebirth exhibition, CAT hopes to receive recognition for her art within Vietnam, laying the foundation to introduce her work on a global scale. CAT expressed: "I have traveled to more than 13 countries and territories. Ultimately, I have come to one conclusion: everything must have roots. My roots are in Vietnam. Vietnamese people need the support and impetus of their own country to venture abroad".

For CAT - Dao Anh Tho, "My father, artist Dao Anh Khanh, has had the greatest influence on my artistic thoughts and mentality. My father is a great artist, a towering figure I have always looked up to. My mother, artist Bui Mai Hien, is also a renowned lacquer artist who has won several international awards, and my childhood environment was filled with art and creativity. My family's love for art runs in my veins. I am blessed to be born into such a family dedicated to the world of art and artists.

As CAT shared, "We live in a time of change. Artists have always played a role in leading people towards good things, enriching the spiritual life of the community. It is the hope of artists, such as myself, that we can use art to create a world full of love, peace, positive energy, and beautiful artistic experiences that touch the human heart".

"With hope and creativity, our small artistic community in Vietnam will connect and inspire each other. We will join forces to create a beautiful, prosperous, and joyful Vietnam that the people can be proud of. I believe that the future belongs to us artists, who will be the ones to awaken the beautiful values that were lost due to the negative aspects of technology. Let's join hands and build a better world", she noted.

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