Legacies of War comes to Tennessee

This month the Legacies of War exhibition by Sisavanh Phouthavong opens up in Tennessee at the Tinney Contempoary Gallery. Sisavanh Phouthavong is one of the first professional Lao American visual artists and educators of her generation. The opening reception will be held on March 4th.

Many of us recently met her face to face for the first time at the National Lao American Writers Summit in San Diego. This new body of work is inspired by the organization Legacies of War (legaciesofwar.org). Their mission statement: "is to raise awareness about the history of the Vietnam War-era bombing in Laos and advocate for the clearance of unexploded bombs, to provide a space for healing the wounds of war, and to create greater hope for a future of peace."

Over 5,400 Lao refugees resettled in Kansas in the aftermath of the Laotian Civil War that ended in 1975. Through her powerful acrylic work, she confronts the challenges of bicultural memory and documentation. She considers notions of the abstract and the concrete for those who must remember both their inner and external histories in a diaspora framed by secrecy and loss. Her work probes what is shared, what is felt, and what must remain deeply personal among the lessons passed on to the next generation as it heals and rebuilds.

The Tinney Contemporary Gallery is located at 237 5th Avenue North, Nashville, Tennessee 37219. They specialize in collectable modern art by established local, regional, national, and international artists. They present a series of rotating exhibitions throughout the year and participate in the First Saturday Art Crawl on the first Saturday of each month.

Bryan Thao Worra