Past Exhibitions

Caregivers to Culture Keepers: Stories from Women in a Changing Laos
September 2014 – August 2016

From the perspectives of ethnic minority women, Caregivers to Culture Keepers: Stories from Women in a Changing Laos shares the lives of women in Laos today. With photographs, documentary videos, and objects the exhibition explores themes of work, family, health, heritage and handicrafts as recorded by girls and women in Northern Laos.

Over a two year period as part of the Stitching Our Stories (SOS) project, young women from Hmong and Tai Lue communities in Luang Prabang learned to use digital media to record and reflect upon their lives in a rapidly changing Laos. From this collection of photographs, video clips, and interviews, TAEC and the international arts programme, PhotoForward, developed the Caregivers to Culture Keepers exhibition.

Eight SOS participants received additional training to become Community Researchers. With their new skills in media arts, they chose issues to explore within their communities. “Using photography and video, we were able to learn things about our family and our community that we didn’t know before,” says Chitthaphone Bounlidsavong, a university student and one of the Community Researchers.

The Community Researchers were integral in framing the exhibition themes, and along with the SOS participants provided the content for the exhibition. Seven short videos present interviews with women in the Hmong and Tai Lue communities on varied topics including a Hmong medicine woman, early childcare in Laos, Hmong batik, Tai Lue weaving, Shamans, and Hmong embroidery, A part of the exhibition, the videos provide a more in-depth look into the lives of women in Laos today.

Carving a Community: The Katu People
20 September 2013 – 15 September 2014

Carving a Community: The Katu People highlights the distinct cultural traits and crafts of the Katu residing in southern Laos and the central highlands of Vietnam. Intricate weavings and basketry and bold woodcarving created by the Katu people are highlights of the exhibit. Of special interest is the carved decoration of the Katu communal meetinghouse. Traditionally, the meetinghouse was the focal point of the village, where members of the community gather to carry out important rites, including buffalo sacrifice. Videos of this annual ritual and daily activities allow visitors to witness the folkways of the Katu.

Developed with the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, Lao Institute for Social Sciences, and the University of Gothenburg, the exhibition received support from the US Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation to realize the full exhibition and produce an exhibition catalogue.

Edited by Dr. Linda S. McIntosh, the catalogue gives an overview of the current status of Katu culture and society in Laos. A limited number of copies of the exhibition catalogue, Carving a Community: The Katu People, are available at the TAEC Museum Shop.

In 2015 the exhibition moved to a permanent home in Sekong Province.

From Courtship to Kinship: Wedding Celebrations of Laos' Ethnic Groups
15 September 2011 – 31 August 2012

From Courtship to Kinship: Wedding Celebrations of Laos’ Ethnic Groups provided a rare insight into the distinct wedding traditions of the Lao people and several of the country’s ethnic minorities including the Hmong, Tai Phuan and Mien. Featuring unusual artefacts, such as a ‘wedding crown’ of the Kim Di Mun made of pure silver and human hair, and stunning documentary photography of rituals and ceremonies, the exhibition provided explanations of the lore and symbolism of wedding customs in Laos.

Carving a Community: The Katu People
20 September 2013 – 15 September 2014

Carving a Community: The Katu People highlights the distinct cultural traits and crafts of the Katu residing in southern Laos and the central highlands of Vietnam. Intricate weavings and basketry and bold woodcarving created by the Katu people are highlights of the exhibit. Of special interest is the carved decoration of the Katu communal meetinghouse. Traditionally, the meetinghouse was the focal point of the village, where members of the community gather to carry out important rites, including buffalo sacrifice. Videos of this annual ritual and daily activities allow visitors to witness the folkways of the Katu.

Developed with the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, Lao Institute for Social Sciences, and the University of Gothenburg, the exhibition received support from the US Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation to realize the full exhibition and produce an exhibition catalogue.

Edited by Dr. Linda S. McIntosh, the catalogue gives an overview of the current status of Katu culture and society in Laos. A limited number of copies of the exhibition catalogue, Carving a Community: The Katu People, are available at the TAEC Museum Shop.

In 2015 the exhibition moved to a permanent home in Sekong Province.

From Courtship to Kinship: Wedding Celebrations of Laos' Ethnic Groups
15 September 2011 – 31 August 2012

From Courtship to Kinship: Wedding Celebrations of Laos’ Ethnic Groups provided a rare insight into the distinct wedding traditions of the Lao people and several of the country’s ethnic minorities including the Hmong, Tai Phuan and Mien. Featuring unusual artefacts, such as a ‘wedding crown’ of the Kim Di Mun made of pure silver and human hair, and stunning documentary photography of rituals and ceremonies, the exhibition provided explanations of the lore and symbolism of wedding customs in Laos.

Splendour and Sacrifice: Taoism of Northern Laos
September 2009 – August 2011

Splendour and Sacrifice: Taoism of Northern Laos offered visitors a glimpse into the religious life of the Mien and Mun Yao people.The culmination of two years’ research, the exhibition explored the beliefs, rituals and precious religious artefacts of the Yao. Items on display included silk-embroidered priest’s robes, ceremonial masks and prayer books, a documentary video, and a recreation of an ordination ritual.

The exhibition and research were funded by the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation, through the US Embassy to Lao PDR.

Caregivers to Culture Keepers Visit website of partner PhotoForward Splendour and Sacrifice: Taoism of Northern Laos Exhibit "Exhibition Catalogue for Carving A Community: The Katu People Lanten Bride Yao Mien Ordination Katu Community House