For this #TBT, I’m recalling some moments that remain in my mind since gathering in San Diego for our 3rd Lao American Writers Summit. As I perused the inspiring and mesmerizing gallery of over 10 artists who sent in their artwork, I came across a young artist from Fresno named Thongxy Phansopha; who was furiously putting up what looked like a broomstick on the wall. Thongxy showcased two pieces from his “California Dreaming Transplant Series”. We had a quick chat about his pieces, how social justice reflects his work, and growing up Lao American.
“It’s not a broomstick, it’s pieces of palm trees. Palm trees aren’t native to NorCal but it’s prevalent in Southeast Asia. While my parents came here as runaway transplants, I’m also here as a transplant on stolen land.”
“The one on the right is called Chasing Waterfalls. Because, TLC. It’s a tribute to my sister. It’s a story about Lao American youth. People who get lost and don’t make it in the American Dream. It’s that moment when you look in the mirror and ask yourself– who do you see?”
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-Chanida Potter, firstname.lastname@example.org