Chantala Kommanivanh, Chicago, IL
As an artist, Chantala Kommanivanh (he/him/his) explores the push and pull between what it is to be Lao and American and the question of what home means to a refugee.
Sisavanh Phouthavong, Nashville, TN
In much of her art, Phouthavong works through her experiences of loss as a Laotian refugee of the 1.5 generation through abstraction—the jagged, knife-like edges of her wall sculptures, for example, express pain and bombardment. The artist and her family fled the communist takeover of Laos in the mid-1970s and spent several years in refugee camps in Thailand before coming to Kansas as part of a US refugee resettlement program.
Kat Eng, Minneapolis/Saint Paul, MN
Strangely reminiscent of Southeast Asia rather than the Minnesota of popular imagination, the Driftless Area of Southeastern Minnesota is where multimedia artist Kat Eng grew up. It is where her explorations of the loss and belonging that humans feel in relationship to the land are partially rooted. Now based in the Powderhorn neighborhood of Minneapolis, she returned home to photograph her dad in this anomalous place.
Van Hai, Vientiane, Laos
Born in Vietnam, grew up in Switzerland, Van Hai lives actually in Laos, South East Asia since 2010. He is a polymorphic artist. He takes us on a journey into the heart of emotion through images and sounds using diverse art forms such as photography, videography, plastic and graphic arts and writing.