Threads of Life

Our Threads of Life weave our stories into a tapestry that represents the voices of those who call Minnesota home. My parents were children of war, fighting for the US in the Jungles of Laos to stop supplies on the Ho Chi Minh Trail. My parents escaped the war and came to America with only $5 in their pockets to call Minnesota home. Immigration is a transformative experience for many Southeast Asians, we have not only thrived in the US but also carried our cultural traditions with us.

My piece is a modern representation of Paj ntaub story cloth (pronounced “Paųŋ dow”) which means “flower cloth.” A Hmong story cloth depicts history, folktales and daily life. Due to persecution, Hmong women hand sewn our written language with natural elements into costumes and traditional patterns keeping it a secret. While the written language has been lost the patterns and customs still remain. The main Hmong woman embodies the storyteller and creator of the cloth, she is stitching our journey but also existing in the same space. Her creation reminds us that Human and Nature are threads of life making us Stronger Together.

Mural commissioned for the City of Minneapolis new Public Service Center by Art in Public Places program.