"my painting further evolved. besides painting on just canvas with oils, my media diversifed to silk strings,” said dang vu. “while some see this move as a departure from the visual arts, my cultural heritage treats painting and music as different facets of the same skill. painting, music, calligraphy and poetry all embrace the same philosophies and principles of rhythm, color, tempo and balance. one cannot master one facet without mastering the others.”
the guzheng is one of the oldest chinese string instruments, dating back about 3,000 years. in the qin dynasty (221BC-206BC), the guzheng consisted of only five strings made from silk. during the tang dynasty (618AD--907AD), it evolved from five to thirteen strings and was officially designated as an instrument of the royal court. during this time, the guzheng was introduced to other asian countries where it further evolved into the koto of japan, the kayagum of korea, and dan tranh of vietnam. in the early 20th century, wang xunzhi, modernized the guzheng. constructed from paulownia wood, today’s guzheng measures approximately five feet in length and more than one foot in width and weighs 15 pounds. silk strings were replaced with steel, then later nylon. the number of strings also grew from 13 to 21. now, even 25-string guzhengs are gaining popularity. the strings’ range encompasses five octaves and is tuned to a pentatonic scale, common in asian traditions. originally, guzheng players were required to grow their fingernails in order to pluck the strings. in antiquity, melodies tended to be slower, sometimes accompanied by singing - much like the japanese koto. over time, as melodies grew more sophisticated and complex, artificial picks made from bamboo were attached to the player’s fingers. today’s picks are made from tortoise shell. there were as many as nine schools of guzheng, each with their own style. today, only five school’s traditions are actively passed on. the shang dong style produces masculine melodies, while the chao zhou style tends to be more feminine. The he nan style is played with astounding energy, and the kejia (or hakka) school is reknown for its haunting melodies inspired by poetry and philosophy. the zhejiang style is considered to be elegant and refined.
1997, 1998, 1999 tribeca performing arts center in new york city.
1999 the new york asian festival.
2000 montclair performing arts center in new jersey.
2001 earth day celebration at the united nations.
2001 lincoln center’s alice tully hall.
2002 summerfest in chinatown.
2002 the athenaeum club at pall mall for the nobel prize laureates in london.
2002 the linbury studio theatre at the royal opera house in london.
2003 university of hawai`i at manoa’s orvis auditorium.
2004 savannah college of art and design's trustees theater.
2006 east meets west-lac hong performing art group carpenter performing art center, long beach ca.
2007 orbis celebrating 25 years of service at united nation.