Truong Buu Giam Artist Portrait

Truong Buu Giam is a Southern California-based artist whose work defies normal classification, falling somewhere in the field of abstract impressionism with Asian art overtones. Applying his training in traditional Vietnamese watercolor on silk, Giam extends this technique to control and blend the flow of liquid resin, originally used to marbleize furniture or flooring, to create beautiful abstract backgrounds before accenting and complementing them with subject matter using acrylic paint.

Giam’s name means “Preserving the Precious and the Beautiful,” a fitting description for someone who captures the beauty of the physical world, from memories of personal encounters to interpretations of faraway landscapes, fauna and flora. Giam has fond memories of growing up in the Vietnamese coastal town of Vung Tau, south of Saigon, where he regularly spent time at the beach. As a young officer in the South Vietnamese Navy, he visited the many islands off the coast of South Vietnam and interacted with rich marine life such as turtles, fish and coral.   

Giam graduated from the National College of Fine Arts in Saigon, South Vietnam in 1970 and relocated to the United States after the Fall of Saigon in 1975. In his spare time he continued drawing and painting, and earned extra money at Christmas selling hand-painted Christmas cards. He returned to school, this time to study commercial art, which he applied in his work in graphic design for 10 years before starting his own graphics and printing company.

In 1992, Giam decided to finally pursue his dream of becoming an artist in earnest. He borrowed money from his brothers to exhibit at the Art Expo in Los Angeles, California, where he met with encouraging early success. He received publishing offers from multiple fine art publishing houses and, in 1996, achieved gallery representation by Exclusive Collections in La Jolla, San Diego.  He has been self-represented since 2001 and continues to sell his art at juried art shows around the United States every year. He earned Gold Medalist distinction at the Wildlife Art Show in San Dimas, California in 2004, was awarded the Outstanding Contribution as an Artist award by Artists for a Better World International in 2009 and, in 2015, claimed Best of Show and First Place in Oil at the Western Heritage Artists in Great Falls, Montana.