Thursday, May 28, 2015

Twin Cities World Refugee Day coming!

Lao Minnesotan writer Saymoukda Vongsay has been one of the leading organizers to put together the Twin Cities World Refugee Day coming on Saturday, June 20th! It will take place this year at the Arlington Hills Community Center at 1200 Payne Avenue in St. Paul. It's a free event and a great way to see the diversity and the opportunities ahead for refugee communities around the world. Be sure to stop by!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Lao poetry memes

Over on her tumblr at, C.C. Thongdara shared some of her memes she'd made for Lao American poet Bryan Thao Worra. She's planning on doing others featuring other Lao writers in the future because she wants to help get the word out about Lao arts and culture.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Sabai Sabai exhibit opens Friday, June 12th to July 3, 2015 featuring the work of Chantala Kommanivanh

Sabai, Sabai, an exhibit featuring new paintings by Chantala Kommanivanh at Nych Gallery opens June 12- July 3, 2015. The opening reception is Friday June 12, 6-10pm.

After the United States pulled troops out of the Southeast Asian conflict in 1975, many Laotians were scattered across the world as refugees. “Sabai, Sabai” is Kommanivanh's visual documentation of the Lao American diaspora in Chicago, as 2015, marks their 40th anniversary. His figurative and abstract paintings are a combination of mixed media, oil, and spray paint on traditional canvas that both commemorate and inform viewers about displaced Laotians longing for a place in urban society.

This work is inspired by his family’s migration to Chicago as political refugees, and the struggle with dual identity they shared with many Laotian Americans. Influenced by his hip-hop upbringing, Kommanivanh sampled traditional Lao textile design, and re-presented it by overlapping graffiti marks on top of gestural impressions creating rhythmic dancing pattern. They hope you could join the community in welcoming Chantala Kommanivanh's new paintings at NYCH Gallery​. The gallery is free and open to the public.

Regular gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday 12-7pm and by appointment. Nych Gallery is located in the Pilsen Art District at 643 W. 18th st. Chicago IL 60618