Skip to main content

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.

AITPM Kazua 04
AITPM Kazua 05
AITPM Kazua 12
AITPM Kazua 09
AITPM Kazua 15
AITPM Kazua 16
AITPM Kazua 10
AITPM Kazua 13

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.

More Stories

Capacity for Change

Get to know Dr. Joseph Lee and how he creates a more diverse landscape around addiction and mental health at Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.

Learn More

Investing in Local Entrepreneurs

Learn how a Program Related Investment helped one entrepreneur support his dreams of being a business owner.

Read the News

Unique Partnership Provides Stability for Families Experiencing Homelessness

Through an innovative partnership forged during the pandemic, Interfaith Action’s Project Home is housing families in Ramsey County.

Read the post

The Role of Investments 101

Learn how the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation deploys values-aligned practices to manage our investment portfolio.

Learn More

Why I Partner with a Community Foundation

Attorney Jacqui Dorsey shares five reasons she values her work with the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation.

Learn More

Redefining What Equity Looks Like

Entrepreneur and Foundation Board Member Alex West Steinman is embracing equity and accessibility with her work.

Watch the video

Honoring Kao Ly Ilean Her's Legacy

Hnub Tshiab - Hmong Women Achieving Together honors one of its founders by establishing an endowment fund.

Learn More

Stories From Across Minnesota: Caring for Community

Jessica Lee Velasco is a mother, advocate, leader, organizer and activist who uses her platform to engage, encourage and empower her community in Worthington, Minnesota.

Watch the video

GET MONTHLY STORIES, NEWS AND UPDATES

JOIN
US!

* Indicates a required field