unfulfilled altars - Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay
unfulfilled altars, 2020
In recognition of the Laotian practice of ancestral worship, the artist created an altar for a former refugee's unfulfilled dreams and every story, promise, and apology that was lost in interpretation. The altar consists of a spread of personal items and "offerings" for the dead (dead promises, dead apologies, dead dreams, dead stories). Examples of some offerings include poetry, letters, forbidden and "luxury" food items, and imagined/rendered photographs. Viewers are invited to ask the questions: Who are these for? What meanings do these items have? Who/What deserves veneration? What deserves to be kept alive? What of my own dreams, promises, apologies, and stories needs to live out in the world so that they do not require their own altars?
Check back soon for a video message from the artist on the making of this piece!