"Many may say that living with the collision of two cultures is a burden, but I find it a blessing in disguise."
The Blake School
The tunnel linking the Hopkins Lower School to the Middle School is undergoing a colorful transformation thanks to art teacher Seexeng Lee and a group of Blake student-artists. Look for more on this project in the months to come! (Video by Nadia Lee) [read more]
Post on: June 8, 2015 9:56:00 AM
Post on: June 12, 2015 2:21:33 AM
My name is Seexeng Lee, son of Vanglor Lee and Dou Vang.
I am Hmong, honored to be Hmong, grateful for all I have learned and all I have been given by those who came before me, those who sacrificed for me and those who taught me what is important in life. I am simply a Hmong artist and an Art teacher who is currently teaches at Patrick Henry High school and have taught art for 11 years in the Minneapolis Public School District.
It is truly an honor to have been asked by Blia Vue, Dr. Long Xiong Yang and the Lao Family Community Organization's board to stand before you to present my painting "Preserving the Fabric of Our Lives" to our father (pej txiv), General Vang Pao.
Please let me explain to you about the work I do and what the painting is all about.
You see in my hand is a "Silver Bar", one of the thousand silver bars you may have seen at the local flea market. In these days and in this time, you may not even take a second glance at it. I am sure you have your reasons...it may be because the silver bars you seen nowadays may not be real or made of pure silver anymore. It could also be that there are simply too many out there and they don't have the same value and meaning they once did--the value and function are no longer apparent to us.
However, what if I tell you that this very silver bar that I am holding in front of you all was not of the typical silver bar you find at the local flea market, but the very silver bar that my mother and father earned with their bare hands back in the early1940's.
This is the very same silver bar that they have carried with them despite the war torn villages of Laos, across the angry river of the Mekong River, into the confined refugee camp, and finally to the United States.
I point this out because something as valuable as this silver bar, our culture, rituals and traditions or people who have sacrified so much just for our well beings and or survival, should never be forgotten, over looked or lost. We must do whatever we can to preserve the essential things of Hmong culture and their meaning...not just for ourselves but for our children's children.
Know that all of my artwork speaks of the core elements that are the very fabric of our being--and so it is only appropriate to present this painting "Preserving the Fabric of Our Lives" to the one person, our father (pej txiv) General Vang Pao-who has spent his entire life doing just that.
Short, but personal message directed towards General Vang Pao:
Our father (peb txiv) General Vang Pao, on behalf of the Hmong people in Minnesota and the world...Thank you for your courage and love that you have for our people. Like this silver bar that I am holding in my hand, we will always treasure you and will never forget your courage, gallant effort and sacrifices you have made to better our people.
Thank you all for having attended the presentation of my painting "Preserving the Fabrics of Our Lives" to General Vang Pao at the 2008 Hmong MN Sport Tournament. It was a dream come true to be in the presence of a living icon.
Thank you Ms. Blia Vue, Dr. Long X. Yang and the Lao Family Boards for making this wondrous event possible.
Thank you General Vang Pao for the kind and most uplifting words and Mrs. Vang Pao for the very special gift.
I am forever grateful!
2008 Hmong Sports Tournament
The 28th Hmong International Sports Tournament takes place on Saturday July 5th and Sunday July 6th, 2008 at McMurray Field Como Park, St. Paul, MN.