Transparent Voices, 20' Tall x 10' wide x 15' diameter, gold thread, fabric, fake marigolds, ink, and sticky Rice *Installed at the Minnesota Museum of American Art 09/2020-01/2021
I was born in Laos and immigrated at the age of four and with no real memories of fleeing for my life and spending the next two years in the refugee camps in Nong Khai, Thailand. I have no memories of screaming my head off when they took my father away or released him to spare me from death. My first distinctive memory was someone wrapping a coat around me because I was cold in San Francisco. I remembered being photographed by the local journalist upon our arrival. My story is nothing different from thousands of other immigrants fleeing from war or oppression. It is not romantic or ethereal, but instead a true act of survival and full of pathos.
My work as a 1.5 generation Post-Vietnam War Lao American refugee immigrant is about these subtle memories, distinctive images, and fragments of time. It's about the collective Southeast Asian diasporic voices that are the driving force and empower me to celebrate my culture and diversity. The projects' goals are to preserve and educate the public about the untold stories, the forgotten Secret War on Laos, and our journey. The refugee immigration photographs are a testament that we are not another number but a reflection of war and humanity's consequences. It is about the larger context of not denying that war is a constant factor in our lives and how this discussion resonates with everyone. These challenging discussions have led me to continue a body of work with an open dialogue.
Sept.- Dec. 2023: Southern Voices/Global Visions, Artfields Collective Group Invitational Show, Lake City, SC, Co-Curators: Dr. Amalia Amaki and Eleanor Heartney.
June 2023-June 2024: Stories from the Camp, Mundi Foundation, Gallerie Delle Prigioni, Treviso, Italy imagomundicollection.org/
Feb. 11-May 21st, 2023: Intent/ Content, Lehr Gallery, Susquehanna Art Museum (SAM), Harrisburg, PA, Curator: Nandini Makrandi, Chief Curator The Hunter Museum of American Art, Reception March 23rd at 6Pm.
March 23, 2023: 38th Positive/ Negative Exhibition, Slocumb Gallery, Juror: Mark Scala, Chief Curator The Frist Museum, ETSU, Johnson City, TN, 5PM Closing Reception *Won Best of Show"
Feb-July 2023: "Wore/Fair": Memorial dedicated to mothers, James Polk Museum, Columbia, TN, 3PM Opening Reception April 7th.
March 18-19 2023: Sabaidee Cultural Fest, Silver Lakes Complex, Norco, CA
Oct. 2022: Grantee of Tri-Star 2022 Current Art Fund (Warhol Foundation), tristararts.org/current-art-fund
Nov. 3, 2022: Artist Lecture/ Collage Workshop, Chattanooga State Community College, TN
Oct. 25th- Dec. 9th, 2022 Solo Show: "Glimpses of Lives Interrupted" University Art Gallery, The University of the South, Sewanee, TN, 5PM Artist Lecture on November 9th.
August 15th-Sept. 23rd, 2022 Solo Show: Bagwell Gallery, Pellissippi State Community College, Knoxville, TN, Curated by: Herb Rieth and video by Jesse Tipton Installation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_FeYvCCKT4
2022: Grantee SouthArts Individual Artist Career Opportunity Grant, www.southarts.org/artist-grants-fellowships/individual-artist-career-opportunity-grants
2022: Won Distinguished Creative Award MTSU
April 24-July 22, 2022: Traveling Exhibition: “The F-word: We Mean Female” at Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, TN (Painting "Impact"), curated by Nandini Makrandi
June 26-July 8, 2022: Instructor Exhibition, Arrowmont Gallery, Gatlinburg, TN
June 27-July 8, 2022: Instructor "Capturing the Moment", Watercolor Workshop, Arrowmont School of Art and Design, Gatlinburg, TN
June 29th-July 29th, 2022: "Art and Conflict Resolution", Thessaloniki Municipal Gallery, Thessaloniki, Greece, Curator: Vasia Deliyianni, Sponsored by Mayor of Thessaloniki Office and UNESCO
June 14, 2022: Artist Lecture, Rutherford Art Alliance, 4PM
May 20-June 8, 2022: Professor led Watercolor Workshop, Italy, MTSU Study Abroad
May 3, 2022: Artist Lecture (Asian Pacific Islander Month), Asurion, Nashvillle, TN 4-6PM
Nov. 11, 2021-Jan. 2022: "AbstracTenn", Channel & Channel, Chattanooga, TN
August 6-Sept. 24th, 2021: Excavating Tradition (with Jarrod Houghton), Gadsden Museum of Art, Gadsden, AL
June 3, 2021: "Telling Their Stories: Artfields, New Art Examiner by Professor Peter Chametzky
April 10-May 1, 2021: "Transparent Voices" ArtFields, Lake City, SC (Sisavanh Voting #217354) and (Jarrod #216628)
March 1, 2021: Interview for Let’s talk launch by Justin Stokes
Jan. 19-March 12th, 2021: “Becoming: Bodies of Trauma, Displacement & Dissent,” KCKCC Gallery, Kansas City, KS, curated by Karlota Contretras-Koterbay From ETSU. (be installed a smaller version 6’x11’ Transparent Voices)
Jan. 19- Feb. 12th, 2021: “Her Liminal Asian-Appalachian Experience”, Slocumb Gallery, ETSU, Curated by Jose Ardivilla and Kreneshia Whiteside. (Installed a smaller version 6’x11’ Transparent Voices And 4 paintings from Displacement Citizenship series)
Jan. 14, 2022:
Guest on Drawing South Podcast with Mike Mitchell, Episode #3
Dec. 2nd 2020: Interview for ShoutoutHTX by editor Iris Garcia platform on Voyage Houston “Meet Sisavanh Phouthavong Houghton: Professor of Painting and Social Advocate for the Arts” https://shoutouthtx.com/meet-sisavanh-phouthavong-houghton-professor-of-painting-and-social-advocate-for-the-arts/
September-Dec. 2020-Jan. 2021: 1.5 Southeast Asian Diaspora Remix, Minnesota Museum of American Art, St. Paul, MN, curated by Chanida Phaengdara Potter a 1.5 Executive Director + Community Architect at the SEAD Project (Installed Transparent Voices, Scattered Bomblets, Aftermath, Clustered Debris)
https://vimeo.com/469149195 (My Interview b/t 8:47-12.57)
August 21-Dec. 10th 2020: “The F-word: We Mean Female”. (6’w x 5’h) at the Hunter Museum of American, Chattanooga, TN (Painting "Impact"), curated by Nandini Makrandi
November 5, 2020: Guest on The Art of Outreach Podcast with Mike Mitchell, Episode #16 https://anchor.fm/taea-outreach/episodes/Episode-16-with-Sisavanh-Phouthavong-Houghton-em2la0/a-a3oprgv
May-August 2020: "Thank you, No Thank you" Asian Arts Initiative, Philadelphia, PA *Online show due to Covid with Artist Video Description.
July 28th-Sept. 10th 2020: "100 Year Suffrage", Murfreesboro Rotunda Exhibit, Murfreesboro TN: Reception: 8/14/20
April 30-June 4th 2020: "Artists Respond to War", University of Central Florida, School of Visual Art and Design, Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and inspired by Tim O'Brien's literature The Things They Carried
Feb. 13, 2020: Art Fight Podcast with Joe Nolan and Brian Siskind, Episode #82: https://open.spotify.com/episode/3fOu8hNntUIrteWWemB8Lc?si=qhshn4kfRPOfh9Eg5RFHmA&fbclid=IwAR1BKI4SODIj30UVtRLku1kb9lfPvjjYdR8SDYgCSg4nLHD-uGnoQWppY1s
January 23rd-Feb. 27th 2020: "The Infinite Monsoon" Solo Show: Tinney Contemporary Gallery, Nashville, TN (February 1st Opening)