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Creation Date



Materials: Graphite

Dimensions: Closed: 17 x 14 inches

Project Advisor: Benjamin D. Rinehart

Year of Graduation: 2020



Artist Statement

This work reveals aspects of the Hmong people’s history and culture through a variety of mediums. I have focused on retracing my family history back to the end of the Secret War, a war that the Hmong people fought alongside the Americans. On May 15th of 1975, Lao communist took over Long Cheng, creating an everyday struggle for the Hmong to survive and escape the country. After one war ended, there came another as the Hmong people sought refuge. In escaping this war, my grandma was one of many who were left behind as the Lao communist leader declared that every Hmong left was to be hunted and killed for fighting alongside the Americans. I recognize my grandmother and honor her bravery in bringing her family to safety in the United States. I also recognize my mother, a daughter of my grandma and only a child during the war, for her bravery as well.

In my grandma’s stories, the spirit of the forest helped them escape and without the bamboo trees, they would have never been able to cross the Mekong River to reach Thailand for refuge. The bamboo wall that I painted represents a shield that protected my grandma and her family from harm. In this context, the portraits are placed onto a wall of bamboo as a representation of honoring their survival and bravery. The portraits are of them wearing traditional Hmong and American clothes to represent my dual identity as a Hmong American artist. Thus, through this project, I understood the Hmong history in a deeper scope, and I appreciate my people and the beauty of the Hmong culture more.


Copyright for this work is held by the artist.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.