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Artist Kazua Melissa Vang uses photography and mixed media art to preserve the legacy of her father and tell the stories of her family and Hmong heritage.

Artist book PRESERVE is a collection of photography, journal entries and works from Kazua showcasing her love for her father, family and canned goods. The inspiration for the title comes from Kazua wanting to preserve memories of her father, who had a stroke in 1999.

About the Artist

Kazua Melissa Vang is a Hmong American photographer, visual artist, filmmaker, teaching artist and producer based in Minnesota. Her recent photography work, “F R I D G E S,” was showcased at Second Shift Studio Space in Eastside Saint Paul in 2020. Kazua’s mixed-media artwork was published as a book art cover for the Saint Paul Almanac 2019, “Resistance and Resilience, Vol 12”. She has stage-managed for Hmong-Lao/Lao-Hmong Friendship Play and has worked as a production manager for NICE, an independent pilot and official selection under Indie Episodic Category at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival. Kazua also co-founded the Asian Pacific Islander American Minnesota Film Collective (APIA MN Film Collective).

She is a producer for HMONG ORGANIZATION, a comedic web series with writers May Lee-Yang and Peter Yang, and director Kang Vang. Her first short film, RHAUB, was an official selection at the 2018 Qhia Dab Neeg Film Festival in Saint Paul. Kazua recently received the 2021 MSAB Creative Support for Individual grant to write and direct her second featured short The Chaperones.

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About the Organization

In Progress has been promoting the voices of newly developing artists since its inception in 1996. Its purpose is to diversify cultural dialogue and pave the way for new voices in the field of digital art making.

How do I preserve him who is no longer on this earth? ... How am I as his daughter, but also how am I as an artist able to create legacies of storytelling?

Kazua Melissa Vang

Art In This Present Moment

This project is part of Art in This Present Moment, an initiative of the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation, with funding from the McKnight Foundation. We provided grants to three Minnesota-based nonprofit organizations to fund work by six BIPOC artists who are changing and challenging dominant narratives through their craft.

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