Elevations Laos

2018 - 2019 Exhibition
Public Programs

Elevations Laos animated the exhibition through a range of public programs to happen throughout the exhibition period in both Vientiane and Luang Prabang.

From a city tour to a symposium, from film screenings to discussions, hands-on art classes and workshops, to our Elevations Laos | Reading Room and regular exhibition walkthroughs.

Screening Fifth Cinema, by Nguyen Trinh Thi Venue TBA

Thursday, November 8 | 8:30 – 9:30PM

Fifth Cinema (54 minutes, colour and black & white, 2018), by exhibiting artist Nguyen Trinh Thi, is an essay film that brings together Barry Barclay’s text on Fourth Cinema or Indigenous Cinema with Thi’s challenging archive captures and personal footage from over a decade’s work.

Vientiane: A Two-Part City Tour

Friday, November 9 | 9.30AM – 3:00PM

Vientiane Through Literature
Exploration of the city’s literary history, led by Dr. Chairat Polmuk, a specialist on Lao literature, and special guest experts. During visits to various historic sites, we discovered how literature has developed before and after the emergence of the first Lao-language newspaper in 1941, and how literary stories of the city related to the nation’s complex histories of conflict.

Vientiane Through Visual Arts
Tour of some highlights of the city’s visual arts. This included visits to other exhibitions, as well as the studios of Laotian artists from several generations.

Elevations Laos | Symposium

Saturday, November 10 | 10.00AM – 5.30PM

The inaugural Elevations Laos | Symposium, co-convened by Dr. Roger Nelson (Australia/Singapore) and Erin Gleeson (USA/Cambodia). A keynote by Dr. Chairat Polmuk (Thailand) was followed by a paper by Gleeson. The afternoon of moderated panels paired exhibiting artists with leading scholars and curators in the region including Polmuk, Zoe Butt (Australia/Vietnam), and Biung Ismahasan (Bunun Nation/Taiwan). Closing remarks by Nelson.

The symposium was conducted in English with Lao and Hmong simultaneous translation available.


Exhibition Walk-through & Reading Room @ The Little House

A member of our Elevations Laos team led walk-throughs of the exhibition, offering insights into the curatorial ideas as well as the artworks and the 13 artists. 

Reading materials for all ages relating to arts in Laos and the exhibited artists were provided in the comfort of The Little House, famous for their specialty coffee and peaceful interior and garden.  The reading room has been relocated to the i:cat Gallery since the exhibition was closed.

EL2018 Exhibition Walkthrough Pao Houa Her Installation view of series My Grandfather Turned Into A Tiger Digital archive prints wheat paste dimensions smaller

Clay Animation Workshop

15 November 2018

Clay Animation Workshop was inspired by Souliya Phoumivong’s “Flow” stop-motion video art:

Teachers and 15 Students (Grade 9) from Vientiane Pattana International school working with 25 students from the Vientiane Deaf School. Also assisting the students were Souphaluck Phongsavath, Zusee, artist Jihyun, Yoko and art teacher Jamie Henderson.


Artist Pao Houa hosted a circuit of special events, engaging three art communities and publics across mainland Southeast Asia. 

Snake Whisky Still life - 2017 - Digital Archival Print
Snake Whisky Still life - 2017
Digital Archival Print


10 January, 2019 

Asia Culture Station Chiang Mai, Thailand
In English.

Three bachelors at the Elder Center - 2016 - Digital Archival Print
Three bachelors at the Elder Center, 2016 Digital Archival Print, 20”x25”


Thursday, 17 December, 2018, 6:00 -7:30PM

Bophana Centre, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
In English with Khmer translation

From the series My Grandfather turned into a Tiger, 2018, Digital Archival Print


Saturday, 5 January, 2019, 9:00AM – 6:00PM

MALAO Studios, Luang Prabang, Laos | In Hmong and Lao (focus group)

This full-day workshop with Pao Houa Her focused on studio portraiture. The first morning session began with the contemporary art history of studio portraiture with examples across continents including a focus on Laos. The second morning session expanded on the significance of this history within Pao’s own practice. The afternoon sessions saw students making and sharing as Pao facilitated an assignment, resulting in the presentation of new work-in-progress, with discussion.

My grandmother’s favorite Grandchild- Pao Houa Her, 2017 / Digital Archival Print, 8”x10”

Pao Houa Her (born 1982, northern Laos, and lives and works Minnesota, USA) works across multiple genres and technologies of photography to address Hmong identity and related notions of desire and belonging within the Hmong community and its diaspora. Pao holds a BFA in Photography from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, MN, and an MFA in Photography from Yale University, CT where she was the first-ever Hmong to graduate from the program. She is the recipient of many prestigious awards including the McKnight Fellowship and Jerome Foundation Grant, and she is currently Lecturer in Photography at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Recent solo exhibitions include Attention, Minneapolis Institute of Art, and My Grandfather turned into a Tiger, Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis. Her work is in the collections of the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Singapore Art Museum, MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum, among others.

Pao Houa Her: Phnom Penh / Luang Prabang / Chiang Mai is organized by curator Erin Gleeson. The events were part of the public programs of two exhibitions that ran concurrently that featured Pao’s work: Depths: Others, Lands, Selves, ELEVATIONS LAOS, Vientiane, and DIASPORA: Exile, Exit, Exodus, MAIIAM, Chiang Mai. The events were made possible through the support of Elevations Laos, MAIIAM, and Bockley Gallery. With thanks to our hosts and their teams: Bophana Audiovisual Resource Centre, Phnom Penh; MALAO Studios, Luang Prabang; and Asian Cultural Station, Chiang Mai.

An Evening with John McDonald

John McDonald
John McDonald

Thursday, 10 January 2019, 5.30PM to 6.30PM

STELLA, 286/18 Ban Beungkhayong Village, Sisattanak District, Vientiane Capital, Laos

Elevations Laos, i:cat gallery and STELLA are pleased to have hosted an audience with renowned art historian, writer and curator John McDonald.  The audience had a chance to discuss with John McDonald his impressions of Lao contemporary art and his thoughts on the role of contemporary art and culture in sustainable development.

John McDonald biography
John McDonald is the art critic for the Sydney Morning Herald, a post he has held – on and off – for almost thirty years. He has written for many Australian and international publications, worked as an editor and publisher; and lectured at colleges and galleries around the country. He was Head of Australian Art at the National Gallery of Australia from 1999-2000, acting as curator for the exhibition, Federation: Australian Art & Society 1901-2000. From 2002-04 he was director of New contemporaries, a non-commercial gallery in Sydney. John has written numerous monographs on and has been curator for a wide range of exhibitions.

In 2007 he collaborated with photographer, Ian Lloyd, on the book: Studio, Australian Painters on the Nature of Creativity, which also became a DVD and a touring exhibition. In 2009 he published The Art of Australia Vol. 1: Exploration to Federation (Pan Macmillan) – the first part of a new, comprehensive history of Australian art. He is currently at work on volume 2, which covers the period from 1901-1961. See more about John’s books here.

Increasingly, John is turning his attention to Chinese art. He was a major contributor to The Big Bang, the catalogue for the White Rabbit Gallery in Sydney.

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