I am a Vermont Artist: Hom Pradhan
Hom was just seven and living in a Bhutanese refugee camp in Nepal when he began to draw and paint. His paintings captured the routines and struggles of daily life. Hom’s innate artistic talents led him to study at the camp’s art school. He then became a student instructor, teaching painting and sculpture to other refugees.
In 2012, Hom moved to Vermont. His creativity accompanied him, and he has turned his talents to depicting a different kind of life–and the beautiful natural landscape that surrounds him. Hom shared his thoughts about being a Vermont artist.
How has living as an artist in Vermont affected your creative process?
Since coming to Vermont, my perspective has changed. It’s very different than when I was growing up in the Bhutanese refugee camp. I have come to love the landscape–particularly in the fall. At this time of year I do as much painting outdoors as I can. I like to hike into the mountains and try to capture the natural beauty. But, having grown up as a refugee, I also want to express my background, my ethnicity, and my culture through my art.
What is something about your art that has changed over time?
Before, I was painting landscapes, portraits–without pain, without a story, without a message. Working with the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program has allowed me to meet people from many countries. I’ve been working with them to create paintings that show the cultures of people from different parts of the world. Their stories are not exactly the same as mine, but I can understand their experiences. It’s comfortable.
What is your vision for the next several years?
People are talking about immigration a lot now–about how issues around immigration are affecting people. My father and grandfather were forced to leave their home country, Bhutan, even though they didn’t want to go. They lost their home. I want to explore the theme of immigration and what happens to people when their freedoms are taken away from them. I’m doing research about stories of the people from my country and from other countries. I want to learn about not just my own heritage but cultures around the world. I want to make two different kinds of paintings–the world as it is and the world as it should be. Now I’m doing research but soon I will begin to paint these ideas.
View Hom’s audio/visual exhibit, Life Under the Shadow.
Read an article about Hom in Seven Days.
The “I am a Vermont Artist” series explores how artists’ creative expressions reflect their experiences of ethnicity, gender identity, religion, disability, or age. Covering all artistic disciplines, and a range of backgrounds—from New Americans to the state’s first residents—we hope to amplify voices that deepen our understanding of what it means to be a Vermont artist.