Tshab Her

Artist Statement

My work demonstrates and complicates the politics of displacement through my experience as a second-generation Hmong-American woman. As a nation-less ethnic minority from Southeast Asia, I fear cultural extinction. I create work that reveals the diaspora of the Hmong, questioning the roles of site and place, and instead looking in-between. My work engages political and cultural space through multidisciplinary practices such as embroidery, cross-stitch, sound, and installation. I use color as a dialogue–a tool for bringing attention to space, claiming space and recognizing how spaces are claimed. I interpret the question of ownership, whether land or body, through the use of Hmong textile, language, material placement, and color mixtures. This work is part of the larger question of what it means to belong, and how I join the conversation about the history of political refugeeism in America. Art is a form that allows me to position my body and other bodies in relation to the Hmong diaspora, and to investigate the generative spaces between visibility and invisibility.

"The United States has forgotten about the Hmong people and what they did. We helped the Americans. We died for the Americansand we still are, long after the war has ended. And isn't it ironic that most Americans don't even know who we are." -General Vang Pao, 1979

Using Format