Lavounie Doan was born in Saigon, Vietnam. She is a media artist, specializing in filmmaking/cinematography, sound design, photography and animation. Living in Calgary, AB (Mohkínstsis/Treaty 7 Territory), Lavounie received her BFA in Time-based Media Arts and a Board of Governor's Graduating Student Award from the Alberta University of the Arts in 2023. Her research focuses on the concepts of dream and fragmented memories.
My practice is formed around the esoteric notion of “Unknowing Nostalgia": the feeling of a revisited memory that has never been personally experienced. It’s a fusion of lighthearted childhood memory fragments, imaginative scenarios, and senses of colourful playfulness, generating a floating realm where wonder and boundless possibility bloom.
Attempting to create immersive experiences that require no specific previous knowledge or language, the foundation of my work is grounded in creating a sense of belonging, providing a feeling of yearning for the past through everyday basic - memories, sights, sounds, smells, and tastes, yet novel and surreal settings. It’s the mixture of reality and inexplicable, the magical aspects of the world while remaining rooted.
Recreating a historical or personal experience with complete precision is almost unachievable as it is subject to the influence of interpretation and the passing of time, yet this doesn't necessarily have to be about grief. "Unknowing Nostalgia" is an attempt to regain something vital, with less focus on the concept of loss itself, but rather on creating a distinct world that surpasses any specific time and place.
Regardless of age or the extent of personal transformation, I aspire to establish a realm in which it feels like being drawn into a dream, where fragment memories of the past are the foundation for the limitless possibilities that exist. My work seeks to generate a sense of comfort in the grounding feeling of connection with the past, others, and oneself.