Ger Xiong, a graduate student pursuing his MFA in Studio Arts, has been selected for a 2019-2020 Fulbright U.S Student Award to research in Thailand. Ger was born in Chiangkham refugee camp in Northern Thailand when his family escaped the Hmong genocide in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. His family immigrated to the U.S. in 1993, where he was raised in a Wisconsin community that was home to a small Hmong population.
Although he initially distanced himself from his ancestral culture as he assimilated to U.S. culture, Ger soon found himself drawn back to Thailand through his appreciation of their Art; jewelry, textiles, and clothing, trying to find a connection between both cultures. From a culture that is nomadic and state-less, Ger will journey back to the country where he was born to learn and document the processes of making these historical arts and craft, engage with the Hmong masters of these crafts, and experience the land his family grew up in.
Ger’s strong affinity for Hmong culture makes him uniquely suited for this life-transforming journey back to his ancestral homeland for a Fulbright Project that will allow him to reconnect with his cultural ancestry through the scholarly study of Hmong Arts and Crafts.