Boy and Girl
Have you ever wondered what you could do with crayons other than draw or eat them? Artist Diem Chau crafts detailed sculptures on them.
A Vietnam native, Diem Chau's work delves into storytelling, myths, and its ability to connect people with each other through cultural and humanistic similarities.
Girl and Dog
These crayon sculptures take about 3-4 hours to complete. I asked Diem where she came up with the idea for this: "The crayons came from doing research into Depression Era folk art. People had to make due with whatever they had and nothing was wasted... creativity is being able to flourish within limits. I think a lot of great folk art came from that era. The work that stuck in my mind is "Hobo" art... people who traveled to find work would often make things to sell or barter... lots of widdling... walking sticks, carved pits... "Hobo Nickels"... portraits, quilts... you name it! I like the tenacity that the work and the people offered. "
Girl and Boy
As for where she came up with using crayons: "It's a big long story on how I got into the crayons... to make it short... money has always been tight. I found it REALLY HARD to be creative with expensive materials. All I could think about was how much it was costing me or how I would pay for it. So I went back to what I knew before art school (heck before school p.e.r.i.o.d.)... simplicity & play... I carved on a lot of things... the crayons stuck :) It ended up being that way because they are such powerful objects. Everyone has one and remembers them... they're beautiful, colorful... when carved they produce a very nice luster... they're happy. The do remind me a lot of childhood, for better or for worse. They're cheerful, but also incredibly fragile and once broken can never be mended. Sometimes I think the accidental breaking of a crayon sculpture becomes an integral part its meaning."
Storytelling Crayons installation view
Diem Chau also creates custom work. Crayon commissions are available on request.
Boy in Blue
Her artwork brings back childhood memories for me. What about you?
Many thanks to: Diem Chau