Chantala Kommanivanh recently announced that he will be exhibiting at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee between August 27th to September 14th. He is scheduled give an artist talk and performance during the closing reception on September 14th (5-8pm)
The exhibit takes its name from the Southeast Asian belief in soul calling, drawn from a metaphysical belief that the body has at least 32 individual spirits that can leave the body or go wandering during moments of trauma or stress. To restore the soul to balance, harmony, and equilibrium, a soul-calling ceremony is typically required that often involves the use of family, friends and other participants tying blessed baci strings around the wrists of the recipients and one another in a show of community.
Chantala Kommanivanh is an accomplished Laotian American artist. His disciplines include visual art and he has an active role as one half of the dynamic hip-hop duo “Maintenance Crew” with whom he has released 4 full-length albums.
For his aesthetic, rap music and the visual work have areas of overlap in terms of their meaning and content. His work has been displayed in four solo exhibitions in the Chicago area galleries and has been included in numerous group and invitational exhibitions in the U.S. He received his Master of Fine Art at UW-Milwaukee Peck School of the Arts in 2014 emphasizing in painting and drawing. Throughout his career Chantala achieved numerous awards such as the Union League Civic Arts foundation award and a two-time A.O.P Fellowship award recipient. Chantala Kommanivanh currently lives and works in Chicago as a practicing visual artist and a professor of the arts at Northeastern Illinois University.
Write up by Laotian American Writer Bryan Thao Worra