Vanghoua Anthony Vue’s practice harnesses the frictions and tensions of cultural difference from his trans-cultural Hmong Australian experience to develop works that offer more inclusive, diverse and hybrid tropes of belonging within cultural and national identities. These works often employ humor and satire to blur the lines and definitions that have been developed by processes of Othering.
A key focus in Vue’s work is also how individual and collective memories, together with the records and artifacts of official history can be repurposed to offer more compelling retellings of recent Hmong experiences of war and migration, which have been largely ignored, overlooked, and forgotten. Additionally, Vue’s practice seeks to create trans-cultural spaces for viewing, art-making and social interaction by diverse audiences within and outside of traditional art exhibiting spaces. Vue completed his PhD in 2019 at the Queensland College of Arts, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia. He has exhibited and produced art projects in Australia, USA and Japan, and was recently commissioned by the Singapore Biennale 2019.
“What was more important to me than the possibilities of creating art installations was the opportunity to experience the largest urbanized Hmong population in the world, and perhaps gain some insight into the experiences of those community members I was able to engage with—from young students through to elders. I also chose to participate in this project as I wanted to create and build connections with Hmong American visual artists in the Twin Cities. Between myself and the collaborating artists, there are both differences and commonalities we share that I wanted to tease out and explore collectively through the visual arts—as Hmong visual artists working in the diaspora and also just as individuals with unique experiences and identities. I hope that the works created are able to tell of the more nuanced and diverse experiences of both the Hmong American artists involved and other Hmong Americans. “
Vanghoua in Minnesota
In 2017, Hmong Museum partnered with the Minnesota Museum of American Art to bring Vanghoua to Minnesota as part of a fellowship. Vanghoua designed a mural in Downtown St. Paul. He also taught his famous tape and spray-painting technique through the Center of Hmong Arts and Talent (CHAT) and Hmong Elder Center.