Kao Na Vang

My name is Kao Na Vang, and I am a Hmong American; I was born in Saint Paul, MN.  Growing up in MN, I was always aware that my parents weren't born and raised in the USA. Taking the advantage of a free public education system, my parents enrolled me into Saint Paul public schools. Through out my elementary and junior high school years I never really knew who I was, where I stand, and what I had to look forward to in the future, until I discovered photography my first year of high school. I experimented with modeling when I was 15 years old. I did a lot of photo shoots that were fashion and commercial related shoots. I discovered that I wanted more control of what was being captured, and from my modeling experience I started off my photography journey. As a Hmong American artist I

feel that it’s important to preserve our culture, even if it’s new emerging traditions unraveling before us.


One of my very first memories of encountering a camera was when I was about 4; I remembered holding a Polaroid camera, snapping a picture and being amazed at the fact that I had frozen an image in time. I have had 4 years of experience with photography. Portraiture has always been my strongest in photography. I try to make a connection with my thoughts and my subject(s), and what I look forward to is the reaction of my audience.


Just because you don’t understand an image does not mean that it’s a poorly captured image. Photography can tell one story in a million different frames of images, but everyone can react and connect to each photograph in a different way. You can express anything with photography, but when you can express it with an image that burns into the eye of your audience that is art.