As a child of migrant parents, my practise centres around diaspora. I use it as a way to understand and process the loss of my cultural heritage, inherited trauma, and as a way to navigate my own identity.
My parents converted from Buddhism to being Jehovah’s Witnesses not long after they came to Australia as refugee migrants. Growing up as a Jehovah’s Witness disconnected me from many aspects of Laotian and Australian culture as we weren’t allowed to observe any customs and rituals interwoven with other faiths.
My mother was my only connection to Laotian culture through hearing her sing Lao songs and share old stories. My favourite memories were making hand cut noodles and eating them together. Any connection to my culture was through Mum, the loss of culture felt even more profound when my beautiful mother passed away from cancer.
My work seeks to reclaim what was taken from me. I do this by creating everyday objects and scenes from life, depicting memories and moments from my childhood. By valuing and honouring what I know, I connect the past to the present to decolonise my cultural inheritance for my child.
earthenware clay and glaze
30 x 40 x 10 cm
Special Commendation Award; Finalist
Judges of the 20th Anniversary Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize: Dr Lara Strongman (Director Curatorial and Digital, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia), Joanna Capon OAM (Art Historian, Curator and Industrial Archaeologist) and Jenny Kee AO (Artist and Fashion Designer).
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