Catzie Vilayphonh

Catzie Vilayphonh

Catzie Vilayphonh is an award-winning spoken word poet and writer. As a founding member of the group Yellow Rage she was one of the first Asian American females to appear on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam. Through her work, she provides an awareness not often heard, drawing from personal narrative. In 2013 she received the Knight Foundation Arts Challenge Award to start “Laos In The House” a project which aims to promote story-telling in the Lao American community through the mediums of art. This culminated into the curation of a multi-discipilinary gallery exhibit and performance showcase featuring work by other Lao American artists which debuted in Philadelphia this past year in 2015. Throughout her artistic career Catzie has become a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Award recipient, a 2012 Creative Capital finalist and a 4-time Leeway Foundation honoree. She is a co-founding chair of the Lao American Writer Summit and an active volunteer with the Lao Family Community Organization of Philadelphia. A child of refugees, Catzie was born in camp, on the way to America and thus considers herself part of the “.5 Generation”. 

Catzie Vilayphonh - I.D. Cards

I.D. Cards

I.D. Cards, 2017
Paper, mirror, plastic
68 x 32" 

I.D. Cards touches on the concepts of identity and responsibility, which can not only give a sense of hope during a time of such uncertainty but also be indicative of the milestones and challenges of the immigrant refugee experience.

Featured in Hurry Up and Wait

Catzie Vilayphonh - S.O.S. In Reverse

S.O.S. in Reverse

S.O.S. in Reverse, 2018
Original poem by Catzie Vilayphonh with animations by Noah Lawrence-Holder. Additional illustrations by Nor Sanavongsay and Mike Sasorith, Lao translations by Vincent Insixiengmay. 
3 min. 50 sec. 
Commissioned by the Asian Art Initiative
S.O.S. in Reverse is inspired by Vilayphonh’s experience with meeting other Lao Americans that she notes is “sometimes by accident, sometimes out of a desperate need to seek community, not always so easy, but certainly welcome.”

Featured in Then and Now

Is Now A Good Time? - Catzie Vilayphonh

Is Now A Good Time?

Is Now A Good Time?, 2020
Video Poem
Images and words by Catzie Vilayphonh, editing by Alex Nguyen-Vo

"This question is about finding the moment to talk about the uncomfortable things. Each person has a timeline of events in their life that would mark a 'good time'. These were mine." -- Catzie Vilayphonh

Featured in Thank You No Thank You

Laos In The House gallery opening - little girl looking at blue mural

Thank You No Thank You, 2020

As part of AAI's Summer 2020 season, Catzie Vilayphonh curated Thank You No Thank You, an exhibition that highlights the struggles, negotiations, and complexities in the identities of Southeast Asian American refugees of war.