Fading Marks: Untitled4

Comprised of a series of paintings, ‘Fading Marks’ by Vanghoua Anthony Vue is based off a documentary film, ‘Hmong & General Vang Pao: The Secret War in Laos, 1960–1975, Part 1 & 2’ that was produced in 1997 by Hmongland and Yuepheng Xiong. “I've painted the small paintings from [the documentary film] (which is actually a composite of other videos), and the larger works from other photographic records as I have been seeking more information about these events. My desire to know more was instilled in me when I was younger, when I was ‘sat down’ to watch documentaries, including the aforementioned, during my childhood, with my father often narrating along with the film’s narrators.” Vue described.The fourth child of a family of five, and the first to be born in Australia, Vue has lived his life imagining and re-imagining his family’s historical migration from Laos – as a result of the civil war – through first hand stories recounted by his father, a former Hmong soldier in General Vang Pao’s army who sided with the Americans against the spread of Communism across Southeast Asia. “Working from blurred prints of the documentary, I built up the paintings for ‘Fading Marks’ using three to five layers of thin oil paint diluted with a lean medium, with certain areas selectively sanded back between applications. This process of erasure and recreation in the work reflects the constant cycle of manipulation, alteration, and recreation these images undergo as they transform between formats. Beginning as VHS recordings, someone has digitally converted it, uploaded it online, before I've screen captured, printed, and then finally painted them with oil onto wood. I've painted them in an attempt to both digest and process a past that I did not experience or cannot comprehend, but which has significantly affected my understanding of my life. It is also a past which is unacknowledged by many outside of the Hmong Lao community, and perhaps through their iterations as paintings, these clouded marks and forms may obtrude into the seemingly solidified narratives of the past. Through their iterations, these images may live again, circulating into public consciousness, vying not to be overlooked or forgotten” said the artist.‘Fading Marks’ is a painted narrative that overlays recorded history of the Laos Secret War, with reflections on personal and communal experiences, and considerations of the process of translation and transference.Vanghoua Anthony Vue (b. 1989) is a Hmong Australian visual artist based in Brisbane, Australia. Vue was born in Sydney after his family migrated to Australia following The Secret War in Laos and settlement in Ban Vinai Refugee Camp in Thailand. Vue’s practice harnesses the frictions and tensions of cultural difference from his transcultural Hmong Australian experience to develop works that offer more inclusive, diverse and hybrid tropes of belonging. Memory and official history are also employed to offer more compelling retellings of recent Hmong experiences of war and migration, which have been largely ignored, overlooked, and forgotten. Vue’s practice also includes public, participatory and community-based projects that are focused on creating transcultural spaces for viewing, art-making and social interaction.Vue has exhibited in Australia and overseas, with recent projects and artist residencies that include Mix Tape (2018), a collaborative projection with AGB Events for the Cairns Festival, public installations and artist residency at The Minnesota Museum of American Art in Saint Paul in 2017, artist residency at 3331 Arts Chiyoda, Tokyo, as part of Drawing International Griffith 2016, and Pa Kor Day, a participatory-based project working with multicultural young people in Logan to create site-specific public installations (2016–17).