Lao weaving/Brocade, Continuous supplementary weft, 25 inches X 46 inches
Brooklyn Park, MN
A Lao traditional weaver, I am true to my belief that, “There is no life without arts and no arts without life.” I work in three techniques in Lao traditional weaving: “Kit-Brocade,” continuous supplementary weft, “chok-brocade,” discontinuous supplementary weft, and “mut-mee,” (ikat tie-dyeing). As a weaver, I use hand, eye, history, myth, lore and wisdom to tell stories of religion, family and friends, special celebrations and journeys that may begin at the beginning or go well beyond the now. Lao weaving provides a complete synthesis of experience and mind.
I often hand-dye the silk thread with natural materials such as berries, roots, and tree barks. My woven traditional Lao skirts, dresses for traditional dancing, shawls, and wall hangings are covered with striking designs and symbolic images. The “Nag,” a dragon, for example, is a sacred creature with protective powers, and the elephant connotes strength, peace, and harmony.
My weaving allows me to connect to my heritage, tell stories of my life and others who were facing the same destiny from wars, and communicate with others and young ones through sharing this intriguing, rich art form. Nowadays, my weaving is not just a form of surviving, but rather a celebration of heritage and life that I share with my daughter each day.