I am Hmong. I am from Laos. My painting is a place located in the center of Vientiane, the capital of Laos. It is one of the popular parks in Vientiane, and also one of Laos’ world heritage monuments. It was built between 1957 and 1968. It is called Patuxai, which means the Victory Gate. The interior of the monument is richly decorated with painted walls and ceilings. The paintings tell stories and show the arts of the country. Patuxai has a height of seven floors. There is a museum, and souvenir shops on each floor. From the top of Patuxai, you can see the magnificent views of the city. It’s a popular place to visit for foreigners and visitors from different districts. I drew this place because it was a place that I always wanted to go to when I was a child. I had been there so many with my friends. It holds a lot of my memories. This is the place that first came to my mind when I thought of Vientiane City, followed by the views of the city, the roads, the motorcycles and the cars that I saw there. This painting identifies my nationality. It reminds me of the gentle and beautiful culture of Laos which has became part of me. Females still wear skirts to school and to work. We would wear traditional Lao dresses to weddings and special occasion. Even though I don’t dress like I used to in Laos, I brought some Laotian skirts with me when I immigrated to this country. This helps me remember where I came from: Laos.
– LEAP High School Student