I consider myself an artist whose medium is stories, especially those that are primarily passed on orally. Coming from a nomadic childhood, what few possessions my family had were necessities. The things of greatest value to us were stories contributed by friends and family. Embedded in these stories are connections to the past, our culture and an occasional escape from reality.
My grandmother told some of the best and most unique tales. She had a wonderful way of spicing up the traditional fable. According to her, Cinderella was kept from the Princeís 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 fantasy worlds make them more believable but, at the same time, it makes them extraordinary. Stories enable us to live a more vivid life.
Iíve spent countless hours gathering memories and pieces of different cultures by listening to incredible stories. I waited with childlike anticipation and delight on each storytellerís words. I believe itís 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