Teen artist prints like a pro

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - REAL ESTATE - Hay­den Smith

THE story of a fam­ily’s roller­coaster jour­ney from war-torn Asia to the Far North is be­ing told by an in­spired teenage artist.

A print­mak­ing col­lec­tion by In­n­is­fail lo­cal Lisa Vue, 18, opened at Tanks Art Cen­tre, Cairns, on Fri­day evening. Her ex­hi­bi­tion,

(I am Hmong), tells the story of dis­placed Hmong peo­ple — an eth­nic group from Thai­land, China, Laos and Viet­nam — who left their homes dur­ing the Viet­nam War, be­fore many of them be­gan new lives in Aus­tralia.

For count­less hours she gath­ered ev­i­dence from her grand­par­ents, now liv­ing in Cairns, who spent time at a refugee camp in Thai­land dur­ing the con­flict.

Lisa, a grad­u­ate of In­n­is­fail’s Good Coun­sel Col­lege, spent about two months cre­at­ing the col­lec­tion.

“I was born in Aus­tralia, but as small kids we’re very west- ernised and I didn’t know much about my own fam­ily cul­ture or tra­di­tions,” she said.

“The (Viet­nam) war was hard for my grand­par­ents, and count­less other peo­ple who were forced to leave their homes.

“I’m very grate­ful to have had the op­por­tu­nity to share th­ese mo­ments with my grand­par­ents.”

Lisa’s work was in­spired by sev­eral fam­ily arte­facts, in­clud­ing a small jacket which she said rep­re­sented the strug- gles of chil­dren dur­ing the Viet­nam War.

She said it was an “in­cred­i­ble” feel­ing to al­ready have her own print­mak­ing ex­hi­bi­tion on dis­play for the pub­lic.

The teenager was men­tored by Cairns artist Han­nah Parker while she cre­ated the col­lec­tion.

Ms Parker, who has about 20 years of print­mak­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, said Lisa showed po­ten­tial for a bright fu­ture in the in­dus­try.

“Her work is re­ally im­medi- ate, fresh and raw,” she said. “Ev­ery­thing she has done is great, but I can see it is just the be­gin­ning.

“I’d love to work with her again. She is a promis­ing young sto­ry­teller.”

(I am Hmong) is on dis­play at Tanks Art Cen­tre (Tank 4) un­til March 30.

Pic­ture: BRENDAN RADKE

Artist Lisa Vue will launch her first solo ex­hi­bi­tion Kuv Yog Hmoob (I am Hmong) at the Tanks Arts Cen­tre tonight.

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