The Hail Talking Artist Series: Featuring Seexeng Lee
Kao Kalia Yang
“The artist can do well in any field.”
- Elizabeth Bowen
The House in Paris
On Saturday, May 3rd, 2008 eleven individuals took advantage of a wonderful event: the second
of Hail’s The Talking Artist Series, featuring Seexeng Lee. So many people missed out in the bright
sunshine of the cool day.
“With nothing but wooden sticks and a dirt floor as my canvas, my imagination went to work,” says
Seexeng Lee of his first, transient contributions to the World of Art. He was born in Laos, and raised
in Thailand’s Ban Vinai Refugee Camp. Seexeng’s family came to America when he was a child.
His journey to manhood is the journey of a contemporary Hmong artist.
Seexeng is a recognized artist and a passionate educator.
His work is recognized nationally for its beauty, its power and its mythic hold on meaning. Specifically,
what it means to be Hmong in America and through time. Seexeng’s work is a testament to the passion
and perseverance of a community that has come a long ways to today and continues on a road that will lead us to places we’ve
His talk, like his art, and
his person: is a generous reminder that there is beauty in our lives and in detailing them we can find
the beauty of possibilities yet unseen, unknown, unimagined. The power of the artistic reach is vast in
its trajectory from the past to the present through to the future. In a nutshell: art
allows us to see the possibilities of what we were and can be, once and again, through time immemorial.
The only sadness: only eleven individuals got to hear Seexeng
talk. Where was everybody else? Contending with the demands of life? Living
too hard within its hold to see its reaches? So many didn’t know enough to show up.
And so: it is over. But
Seexeng Lee and HAIL and all the persons present felt it important to share the day. To say:
Come. If you are an artist and you’re looking for a mentor, if you are a person wanting to
discover the possibilities of art for making sense and meaning and beauty out of our lives, if you were a child who once took
a stick to the earth, drew a world that disappeared in the shifting grains of life: come again and be inspired.
For more information on The
Hail Talking Artist Series visit: www.hmonghail.org.