George Morrison Gallery | June 15 - September 2021
“Using metal and fiber techniques as a language, I make work that speaks to specific moments of clarity.”
Seeking a path beyond the hold trauma evokes on our minds and bodies, DEFUSE brings context to human thoughts and behavior. Specifically addressing the systems and pathways connecting extrinsic triggers and intrinsic coping mechanisms, Tia Keobounpheng asks, “Through diffusion, is it possible to reverse the fusion between instincts that keep us tied to old ways?” Approaching art as a practice, a journey, Keobounpheng explores inherited and lived trauma through patterned watercolors and woven materials that create organic sculptures and two-dimensional paintings. “Sculptural installations,” she explains “invite the visitor to cross the threshold in order to literally and viscerally see themselves in the artwork.”
DEFUSE reflects Keobounpheng’s process of reconciliation, founded on the idea of unweaving—creating space between our elemental fibers in order to identify connections and broader patterns within our behavior. Keobounpheng examines how we defuse the behavior shaped by epigenetics, ancestry, and generational trauma in order to trust a deeper embodied wisdom.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Tia Keobounpheng (aka Tia Keo) is a multidisciplinary artist and designer living and working in North Minneapolis. She has spent much of her life exploring at the intersections of architecture, design, craft, and art. Together with her husband, she founded Silvercocoon jewelry in 2001. Keoboungpheng is a 2020 and 2017 Artist Initiative grantee from the Minnesota State Arts Board and a 2018 Next Step Fund grantee from the McKnight Foundation through the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council.
The Duluth Art Institute's programs and services are made possible in part through the support of the Minnesota State Arts Board through an appropriation by the State Legislature from the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2018.