Griffith graduate painting the town red

Queensland College of Art graduate Anna Vu is lighting up the city with her latest work – a series of vibrant drawings projected onto Brisbane’s William Jolly Bridge.

The works are part of the Brisbane City Council’s BrisAsia festival, which celebrates traditional and contemporary Asian art and culture.

Anna, also known as AMA, is an internationally renowned street artist, who spends most of the year on the road.

After the BrisAsia team spotted her work on Instagram, she was invited to project her vivid sketches onto local landmarks as part of BrisAsia and the Brisbane Street Art Festival.

“I’d never worked with projections before – most of these sketches were originally tiny pieces that could fit on the back of an envelope,” she said.

“It’s certainly the most public exhibition of my work so far!”

Anna has strong ties to the region- her familyhails from Vietnam and China, although she was born in Australia.

“I think a festival like this celebrates the mix of cultures in Brisbane.

“It is also a great way to reflect how much Australia is a part of Asia.”

The works featured in BrisAsia were created during Anna’s travels through Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand.

“Some people keep diaries or journals when they travel – I draw,” she said.

“The shapes and colours reflect my impressions and experiences – a red shirt my friend was wearing during a visit to Chinatown in Kuala Lumpur, or the rice paddies in northern Thailand.”

Anna completed a Bachelor of Fine Art at the QCA, under mentors like Professor Mostyn Bramley-Moore and Dr Miles Hall.

“It was a great experience,” she said.

“I had good professors who were very open to what I was doing and gave me confidence in my practice – they helped me trust my instincts.”

An exchange to Falmouth University in the UK as part of her final year of study inspired a love of travel.

“It really opened my eyes to the fact that there is so much of the world out there to see,” Anna said.

“I don’t have a driver’s licence, but my passport is my licence to travel, and intend to make the most of it!”

Anna has spent the past four years travelling to far flung corners of the globe, using the streets as her canvas.

“My travels have really inspired a new way of working, and I want to keep pushing it further,” she said.

“I love the freedom of working outside – you have to think about the weather, the site, the light.

“I’m always thinking about the next big thing – I’d love to do a massive mural on a skyscraper one day, or work on 3D projections.

“I’m planning to travel to Mexico or Africa next – there are so many possibilities!”

You can follow Anna’s work on her Instagram feed at AMA.