Living through war can change a person’s life dramatically. Many people can go through a downward mental spiral while others try to get by day by day.
A native of South-East Asia, Anh-Van Truong was born in Vietnam in 1952.
She obtained her License-ès-Lettres (B.A.) in French literature at the University of Hue (VN) in 1974, and taught French literature in high school (VN), while preparing for her 3 year scholarship for graduate studies at the Sorbonne - Paris. She also took painting class at the Hue Academy of Fine Arts in 1971.
Unfortunately, when South Vietnam fell under the communist regime in 1975, her dreams were cut short: all her family properties were confiscated by the new government, her family members were scattered around the globe after that, and her scholarship for graduate studies at the Sorbonne was also gone with the wind.
Anyway, she took it day by day, step by step, and finally managed to escape the communist regime with her 3 younger brothers, by boat, and landed in the Philippines in 1981. During her stay in the Philippines refugee camp, she has put her language skills (French, English and Vietnamese) to a good cause: helping her country people to obtain better health care and support while waiting to be resettled in another country. She has since devoted her time and energy in working closely with the UNHCR personnel (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), the Philippines Government officials, the US Embassy and all other foreign delegations to help gather and translate all personal information, documents and applications related to the resettlement applications of some 4000 refugees in this camp.
In 1982 she was resettled in Canada, but moved to the USA the following year.
Again, step by step, day by day, she began building her life again, living, working, and traveling extensively throughout the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, and Asia.
However, after a serious illness, she reset her priorities to a job with less travel and settled down in Great Falls with her husband and three children.
While she felt like her life was in order again, she still could not shed the feeling that something was missing.
Then she pulled out an old canvas and paint set and began translating her thoughts through brushstrokes.
Painting became her new therapy for moving from the past into the future...
She has then studied with Joe Kabriel (Basic Drawing-Art League Torpedo Factory Art Center, Alexandria-Virginia, 2007); Jennifer Schoechle (Oil & Pastel, 2008), and Adrienne Kralick (portraits, Great Falls Center For the Art).
Anh says about her passion...
"It seems that I always tried to search for an invisible paradise where I could grab and hold tightly in my hand with the nostalgia of a long time dead past: my lost home where I grew up with my parents and family for 22 years...Then when I finally set my first brush stroke and splash of color on the canvas, I realized that I finally found my way home again."