MAI LEE VANG
Artist Statement: Xauv (necklace worn in the art piece) in the Hmong language translates to 'lock'. Oftentimes this word reminds our people of the struggles we've faced throughout history: enslavement and our search for freedom. These oppressions are found even within the Hmong culture and society. A woman's freedom is limited and more times than not, defined and overshadowed by their male counterparts. I wanted to highlight women - a daughter, a daughter-in-law, an aunt, a grandma, and most importantly a Hmong mother. A mother who is quiet yet resilient. Obedient yet strong-willed. Cautious yet supportive. Broken yet empowering. Loving yet caring. Though hindered, with Hmong culture and society progressing, she sees the glimpse of freedom in the future.
Artist Bio: My main professional background for the past 6 years has been Graphic design but I like to still consider myself a traditional artist. Though I graduated with a Bachelors of Art with an emphasis in Graphic design, I have trained in various mediums like oil paints, acrylic paints, clay sculptures, charcoal drawing, woodworking, and mixed media all throughout college.
When it comes to influences, I've always admired the beauty of seeing someone from another's perspective. That's probably why I enjoy drawing portraits and highlighting the raw moments. I've also enjoyed learning about artworks from the Renaissance and Baroque eras, artists like Johannes Vermeer, Caravaggio, and Michelangelo.
Back in college, I did have my work shown in school galleries, but I currently do not have my work in galleries. The only public forum showing my artworks are my social media pages.