Cy Thao | Click on image for more details
Artist’s Statement For many centuries, the Hmong lost their writing system and needed to develop other forms of communication. Storytelling was one way to pass on information from one generation to the next. The Hmong sewed their histories onto cloth using symbols. Eventually, they replaced those symbols with scenes and characters to tell their stories.
During the late 1970s in Thai refugee camps, Hmong men and women started sewing tapestries that recounted their journey from Laos. Those tapestries didn’t use words but pictures of people leaving their villages, wandering in the jungle, and finally reaching the resettlement camps. My paintings try to continue that story-telling tradition using oil paint on canvas.