Collection: "Drowning: The Art of Dat Do" - Solo Exhibition

I am Dat Do. Born in Vietnam and raised in the United States since I was three, I never felt that I really had a culture to call my own. I was too foreign to belong in the neighborhoods I grew up in but I was so far from the culture that I was born in that the only connection I had with it was through just my mom and her extended family. Because of this, I was a very reclusive child and because of our financial difficulties, all I could do was sit at home watching Saturday morning cartoons and when those weren’t on, I would read and draw. Those were my escapes from the concrete island that I was stranded on.

I am heavily influenced by the old cartoons I watched as a child. From Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball, and Astro Boy to Nu Pogodi, an old soviet cartoon that I managed to find tapes of in Vietnam, all of these influences have mixed inside me. Because we were poor and I did not want to burden my single mother, I have never gone to art school and am fully self-taught through YouTube and years of doodling. I’ve found myself falling back to the styles of my childhood because that was the unique culture I was raised in. For this show, an ocean theme came to me through a desire to reconnect with the coastal lands of Vietnam.