ABOUT THIEN DAO
Thien Dao crossed the Pacific Ocean to start a new life in America with her whole family -seven children and two parents- in the late 70's. In college, she started out as an engineering student at Sacramento State University. After several successful academic years, she accidentally discovered an affinity with arts through an art class and moved into the Fine Arts program, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree. She has painted and used other media, but abstract clay sculptures and elegant masks -intricately built with slabs or coils- are her true passion. She puts her engineering training to good use by applying structural design concepts to build hollow sculptures with complex forms. Most of the abstract pieces are particularly evocative of the female form, with flowing lines and softly rounded shapes which she often colors with powerful, multilayered glazes. Her realistic sculptures and masks frequently show human emotions, joy, sorrow, just beneath the sense of poignancy one sees on the surface.
For more than a decade, with her husband, Dao raised their two children while creating a vast portfolio of artwork. Her works have received many awards and have been collected by businesses and individuals globally. Dao currently resides with her husband in Ophir, California, teaches and shows her work at galleries throughout Northern California. Check out the Calendar to learn more about workshops and gallery openings.
"For me, there are two levels of joy in my work. On the simple physical plane, I love to touch the clay, the feeling of earth and promise. The other is the feeling of gratification and gratefulness when a connection is made between a viewer and a particular piece. It is a special privilege to be able to make meaningful connections with other people through the sculptures I create." - Thien Dao, on her work