Portraits of Lao women on imaginary landscapes

[Photograph: Caroline Hayeur]
[Photograph: Caroline Hayeur]

Caroline Hayeur and D. Kimm continue the tableau vivant project they began in 2014 with women from the Maison d’Haïti. This second exhibit includes 21 portraits of Lao women involved with the Coopérative d’habitation Santisouk and the Lao Women Association of Quebec. The women were photographed against a white background, their portraits later superimposed onto imaginary landscapes by graphic designer Luc Beauchemin.

The Coop Santisouk (“happiness” in Laotian) was founded in 1988 by a group of Laotian families that arrived to Canada towards the end of the 1970s as part of a wave of refugees from Southeast Asia. The mission of the Coop was to end isolation and help Laotian immigrants integrate into Quebec society.

Today, the Coop helps preserve intergenerational bonds, perpetuate traditions, and end isolation of the elderly. Rue du Laos in the Mile End was named for the Coop, which will celebrate its 30-year anniversary this year.

Lao Women Association of Quebec was founded in 1991. Its mission is to perpetuate and share Laotian culture, whether through programming and social activities or through language, traditional dance, or cooking classes.

*In Laotian “gning lao you nay thammasat hèng khouam fanh” means “Lao women in a dream landscape.”