All posts filed under: Events

Alisa Phommahaxay Brings French Street Art to Vientiane

From January 6-15th, French street art takes residency in Vientiane as the French Institute (Institut Francais du Laos) hosts  “Art42, Hors Les Murs // Extramural : Vientiane”. The installation is organized by Lao French curator, Alisa Phommahaxay, who’s based in Paris. We briefly chat with Alisa about her work, how art inspires her and her upcoming exhibit. Tell us about yourself. How was it growing up? I was born in Paris, after my studies in Visual Arts at the Sorbonne University, I went to London and lived there for 5 years to work as a curator. Before coming back to Paris (Sept 2015) I went to Vientiane for 4 months, I was fortunate to give some courses and do an exhibition at the National Institute of Fine Arts under “Introduction to Contemporary Art”. I’ve been back to Paris for a year and half now. My parents are both from Laos. My mother is from Luang Prabang and my father is from Vientiane. It is an important factor for why I’m doing all this art projects in Laos. …

President Obama’s Remarks in Vientiane: Acknowledging the People and its Past

(Artwork by Chantala Kommanivanh) I woke up this morning and caught my father listening to President Obama’s speech for the first time. His eyes were on the floor. I knew what it meant. My father would never allow his children see him cry. As a 27-year-old senior lieutenant of the Royal Lao Army who was trained at Fort Knox in the early 1970s, the scars of that era was traumatic as it was deeply lonely for my family. It’s why President Obama’s historic visit to Laos and his remarks in Vientiane is powerfully meaningful to the hundreds of thousands of Laotian diaspora who fled to seek new havens to call home. I’m echoing what many across the world are feeling this week: it’s a good time to be Laotian American. The momentum of President Obama’s visit to Laos is undeniable. In the over 60 years that the United States has established diplomatic relations with Laos, this is the first time a president is realizing the potential in Laos, as part of a crucial pivot and ‘rebalance’, as they put …