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international photography annual 1 exhibition-in-print
online resource

Van Chu
Salt Lake City, Utah

University of Utah, Adjunct Professor

page 55-56

detail image


What is a photograph? A photograph is an image created with the purpose of transforming something ordinary into something extraordinary involving a camera somewhere in the process. My works then are photography at heart as I only wish to capture a mundane moment and turn it into something larger than itself, a drop of paint quickly dissolved in water becomes a dragon, a landscape in the sky, a war torn area filled with burning trees and mushroom clouds, an intersection between you and me.   

I see an emphasis on emotion over illustration of traditional Chinese ink painters. I see the idea to give randomness a sense of order in the works of Jackson Pollock. I also see a journey to search for an ideal balance between aesthetics quality and conceptual idea in the photographs of Richard Avedon.

Those ideas have come together and collided in "Photographic Brushstroke," a series of photographic artworks that I have been working on since 2008. By using digital photography, a new born art form, then combined it with the essence of Chinese painting, one of the oldest continuous artistic practices, I have created a body of photographs bringing traditions to the forefront again while giving them a breath of fresh air of the technological advances of the twenty first century. A reminder that we are the intersection of what came before us and what is yet to come.



born: 1983, Vietnam


University of Utah, MFA, 2010
University of Utah, BFA, 2007

selected awards/honors

First Place, International Juried Photography Exhibition, Viridian Artists Gallery NYC, Juried by Elisabeth Sussman from the Whitney Museum of American Art NYC 2011
First Place, Photowork 2011, Barrett Art Center NY, Juried by Lauren Hinkson from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum NYC 2011
First Place, Seeing Seeing: Capturing a Moment, Creative Arts Workshop Gallery CT, Juried by Felice Frankel from Harvard University 2011
Second Place, Digital Works, Long Beach Foundation of the Arts and Science NJ, Juried by Christiane Paul from the Whitney Museum of American Art 2011

selected solo or two-person exhibits

Van Chu, Photographic Brushstroke, Silver Streak Gallery, Tucson, AZ, 2012
Van Chu, Photographic Brushstroke, Creative Arts Workshop Gallery, New Haven, CT, 2012
Van Chu, Mushrooms and Trees, Finch Lane Gallery, Salt Lake City, UT, 2011
Van Chu, Photographic Brushstroke, Salt Lake City Main Library, UT, 2010

selected group shows

Woodbury Art Museum, Art of our Century, Orem, UT, 2012
Firehouse Plaza Art Gallery, Borders: Visible and Invisible, Garden City, NY. 2011
Soho Photo Gallery, National Photography Competition, NYC, 2011
B. J. Spoke Gallery, Expo 30: National Juried Competition, Huntington, NY, 2011



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