Sai Thao

My name is Sai Thao. I am a Hmong media artist. I have been producing work since I was 13 years old. I am now 25 years old and currently working on a video called Hidden in my Heart (an unwritten letter), a 30-minute experimental documentary on families ties. Most of my work is experimental dealing with the struggles of being a Hmong American. I was born and raised in St. Paul, MN. I graduated from St. Paul Open School in 1999 then went to college for a year and studied film. But then I decided I wasn’t ready for college yet and left to pursue other opportunities and seek my path as an artist. I began traveling and teaching media arts with Kristine Sorensen in 1999. Then in 2001, I was awarded a grant from the Jerome Foundation to travel to Laos with my mother to explore and see the land where my parents were born. In 2002 and 2004, I was very fortunate to be awarded a grant from NAATA and the MN States Arts board to produce Hidden in my Heart. The last few years have been struggle. I have been faced with many personal challenges but living as an artist, as a work in progress, I have over come many of the struggles I have faced. In the fall of 2004, I married the man I loved and moved to Texas. I continued to create work and challenge myself as an artist while living in Texas. I am now back living in St. Paul. I hope to complete Hidden in my Heart this 2006 year and travel with the film.