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home : arts : arts Tuesday, November 21, 2017

9/6/2017 4:24:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
A Refugee And Her Daughter Perform The World's First Traditional Hmong Folk Concert
Photo by Wennicha Yang
Photo by Laichee Yang
"No one has ever done this before. By having this concert, people will learn about khawv txhiaj (kah-see-ah), and better understand who we are as Hmong people and how we express ourselves," explained Pang Her Vang, a master of Hmong flower singing.

42 years after the Hmong have arrived in the U.S., Pang and her daughter, Gaosong V. Heu hosted and performed the world's first traditional Hmong folk concert. A captivating story of a refugee and her 1st generation, Hmong American daughter's exploration to revive Hmong flower singing, featuring original live music and multimedia. "Flourish: The Renaissance of Traditional Hmong Flower Singing IN CONCERT" was a one-time performance held on Friday, August 25th, 2017 at the Wellstone Center in St. Paul.

"Khawv txhiaj" (Kah-See-ah) or "Hmong flower singing" is a traditional form of Hmong folk singing that focuses on the raw musicality of the human voice and poetry. Historically, it has been used for thousands of years for courting and cultural rituals. In the U.S. flower singing is fading as few people understand the poetry and practice the art form. Pang first learned this art from her mother at the age of 5. In 1979, Pang and her family made the journey to the U.S. as refugees of war. Since then, she has built a reputation as a skilled artisan and performed for audiences world-wide, including France, China and Australia.

Gaosong V. Heu is a performance artist, vocalist, musician, published writer and scholar of Hmong performance practices. She was determined to learn and practice Hmong flower singing after her mother suffered from a stroke in 2013. In 2016-2017, Gaosong and Pang applied and received the the Cultural Community Partnership grant with the Minnesota State Arts Board.

"When I was a child, I was extremely shy but always knew I had so much more I wanted to say. Music, theater and performance allowed me, a confused Hmong girl growing up in the suburbs, to blossom into a confident artist who infuses Hmong music and storytelling in the art I create. I have been preparing my whole life this performance," Gaosong shared.

The mother-daughter duo are video documenting this process with the help of award winning filmmaker, Kelly Huang. They hope to share this journey with audiences worldwide for film festivals and online platforms.

Link to promo video: https://www.facebook.com/gaosong.vang/videos/vb.100000011568188/1710293962314306/?type=2&theater

Gaosong's Website: www.GaosongVHeu.com

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