August 12, 2022

By BRYAN THAO WORRA
AAP contributing writer

MINNEAPOLIS — Laomagination, the inaugural exhibit of the SEALIT Center, recently opened at the NEW RULES space in North Minneapolis and is on display until June 30.

Laomagination, the inaugural exhibit of the SEALIT Center, recently opened at the NEW RULES space in North Minneapolis and is on display until June 30.

In this exhibit over 55 examples of art from Lao American artists based in Minnesota and across the US are presented, including Aloun Phoulavan, Nor Sanavongsay, Kinnary Phimpadubsee, Kulap Vilaysack, Vongduane Manivong, Loy Khambay-Correa, Sydney Viengluang, Steve Arounsack, Camino, and the work of Amorn Setthithorn.

A special exhibit by artists from the Subverted Fairy Project is also featured including the work of Xee Reiter, Riawa Thomas-Smith, and others. Artworks are presented in four themed core areas of “Re-imagined Traditions” “Recovering Inner Histories” “Laotowns Envisoned” and “Laopocalypse Now” exploring how diverse artists from a culture grounded in principles of reincarnation engages with the idea of a “final” end of the world scenario.

The Mission of the SEALIT Center is to “promote the growth of experimental and non-traditional Southeast Asian literature, interdisciplinary art, and theater-performance arts in diaspora in the U.S.”

Originally planned for one month, the organizers were able to negotiate a longer exhibit to display key textual, visual, video, and performance works reflecting the first 20 years of the Laomagination movement. Additional supporting artists will also present art classes or workshops, editing sessions, performances, film screenings, and community conversations for almost 40 events anticipated in the community during this period.

This exhibit was funded thanks to funding from the Asian Pacific Endowment, Forecast Public Arts, the Joyce Foundation, the Rhizome Foundation, and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council of Minnesota. Technical support from the Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota also made this exhibit possible.This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. In November 2008, Minnesotans passed the Clean Water, Land & Legacy amendment to the Minnesota Constitution, which created the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Proceeds from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund “may be spent only on arts, arts education and arts access and to preserve Minnesota’s history and cultural heritage.”

Laomagination runs until June 30, 2019. New Rules is open Monday – Thursday 11-7 p.m., and Friday 10 -3 p.m. at 2015 N Lowry Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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