Artist Statement: The subject I chose for this event focused on the life of the Hmong Americans in Minnesota. I am fascinated by the ever-evolving movements of the Hmong American culture, that drew large-scale in cultural celebratory ceremonies, such as the annual Hmong New Year in Downtown St. Paul, funeral ceremonies, and the annual 4th of July Freedom Festival in McMurray Field in St. Paul. These events are predominately linked to our heritage dating back hundreds of years in Laos. For much of my career as a photographer, I realize that there is a distinction in the Hmong community which lacks the resources to better understand our cultural history. For that reason, I feel it is my personal responsibility to present, promote and maintain my cultural heritage by connecting the community through photography as a way of bridging cultures in Minnesota and preserving history through the people. Being resilient is something I will always remember my mother's word of wisdom, “Don’t forget your heritage and where you came from.” History can be taught to future generations in the most essential way when we are able to document our past. I hope the viewer will gain meaningful insight into the Hmong culture and community, through the images chosen to represent the Hmong Americans in Minnesota.
Artist Bio: I have always enjoyed creating art from a very young age. In high school, I would often use my family's old digital camcorder to make short videos and photos of my siblings. In college, while working as a part-time photographer and graphic designer for a local newspaper, I was commissioned to photograph public events using an early-version 2-Megapixel digital camera. At the time, I didn’t have any in-depth knowledge about photography but was captivated by the subject matter. I quickly realized there was a striking difference in technical characteristics between 35mm film versus digital photography. This discovery inspired me to explore more into the history and the art of photography.
I recently exhibited my work at Art @ 967 Payne, from June 23 - July 18, 2022. The title is called: LIFE. LOVE. BEAUTY.