Cloth Origins: Textiles from the HMong Journey
John Michael Kohler Arts Center
Nov. 8, 2023 - Jan. 14, 2024
On view October 28, 2023–January 14, 2024
Cloth Origins: Textiles from the HMong Journey unravels ancient practices rooted in human connections, landscapes, and ancestral wisdom that nourish people through kinship.
In their migration from China into Southeast Asia, many HMong crossed the Red and Green Rivers centuries ago. These waters signify the colors of a living textile imagination that define real regions between countries where new homelands were made. Nearly fifty years after the HMong have been displaced from these areas, their textile practices and the stories they carry are threatened by capitalism and colonialism.
This exhibition pays homage to the creativity of HMong ancestors and living artists, featuring the works of RedGreen Rivers social enterprise, Sheboygan artisan Xao Yang Lee, and artist Ka Oskar Ly.
Showcasing handmade textiles, RedGreen Rivers focuses on the cultural significance of hemp fibers. Co-designing with artisans, they raise awareness of indigenous practices that ensure people, cultures, and communities thrive.
Co-curated by Ka Oskar Ly, KaYing Yang, and Pachia Lucy Vang, Cloth Origins is a kindred exhibition to Cloth as Land: Hmong Indigeneity, which runs November 18, 2023, through June 16, 2024, at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center.