Savanhdary Vongpoothorn (b. 1971, Laos) came to Australia as a refugee when she was eight. Savanhdary holds a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of New South Wales. Her work usually interweaves Lao cultural references with Australian and other cultural influences. Besides using motifs and symbols from Lao textiles,she also applies a technique that directly references the act of weaving itself.Spiritual references have also been important to her, especially the use of Lao words, texts and concepts from Theravada Buddhism, including Khathaa (Lao-Pali)protective incantations or spells. For Savanhdary, such cultural references do not constitute a fixed tradition or an objectified sense of “culture”. Rather, they stem from her experience of growing up living and breathing in Lao cultural, familial, and religious worlds, both in Laos and Australia.