I am a first-generation Hmong-American woman from St. Paul, Minnesota. I am a student at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and is majoring in the Bachelor of Individualized Studies in Cultural Studies and Comparative Languages, Sociology and Art.
At the age of 14 I had my first experience with filmmaking and photography. I was 8 years old when she first worked with video production and 10 years old when I did black and white photography. My photography work was shown at an exhibition along with other youth at the Landmark Center.
I found my passion for photography and video when I was introduced to In Progress at the age of 14. I started exploring digital photography and began looking at myself as an artist. I used digital media to speak out and capture the present time through the camera lens. A year afterwards I filmed, edited and finished a 10-minute documentary film based on my father’s history in the Vietnam War called Whispers From the Vietnam War. This film is the beginning of my journey as a documentary filmmaker.
Currently, I am working on a documentary film called Niav Leej Tsaiv (Mother’s daughter) with interviews of Hmong girls and women ages 8-83 years old. The idea behind this film is to show the unique stories of each individual Hmong girls and women and how they are similar in many ways but how their differences separate them a part by history, time and location. I recently received a Minnesota State Arts Board grant to make a mixed media mural project. In this project I will compose of several families’ images from the Laos and Thailand before their immigration to the United States. This mural will travel in schools in the Twin Cities to provide an artistic approach to showing the history of the Hmong people before they arrived in the United States. The mural serves as a educational piece of artwork and for the audience to acknowledge the past and honor the Hmong’s bravery.