You were a teenager when you left Vietnam and moved to Berlin. What do you remember most about your childhood?
I was born in Saigon, now known as Ho Chi Minh City, and I moved to Berlin with my family aged 12 in 1990. I focused on studying and working professionally in theatre.
There was no such thing as the Internet back then and the only things I was exposed to were travel books on Vietnam in the school library. I saw very few images of Vietnam and most of them were pictures of the villages and cities at the time. But prior to moving to Berlin I grew up juggling in the same opera house where our company now performs. My father was a solo trumpet player and he performed on that very stage.
What made you feel like you wanted to visit Vietnam again?
I had been lucky to travel around the world as a juggler and I wanted to share my work with the people in Vietnam. I’d been based in Berlin for over ten years by that stage and had travelled all throughout Europe and as far as the US and Canada. The first time I arrived back in Vietnam in 2001, I was touched and impressed by the nature of the country. Between the northern and the southern parts, it’s like travelling between two completely different places. I’d fallen in love with the countryside, the rice fields and the seaside.
The people in Vietnam really touched me. Regardless of what may be going on in their lives, they’re always smiling and are always friendly and supportive.
What can people expect from your work?
When people come to our shows, they always leave with a big smile on their face. The show has a unique story that touches people’s hearts and allows the artists to be themselves on stage. They’re not playing a character that they have to adopt. It’s really important to me that each performer is given the chance to express parts of their own personality on stage.
Who do you hope comes to see the performance when you’re in Australia?
All of Sydney! Our company have never been to Sydney and we’re very thrilled and excited to go there.