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Hso Hkam is a multitalented artist living in Venice, California, where he specializes in filmmaking, photography, painting, and drawing. Hso was born in Yangoon, Myanmar (also known as Burma), where he is the 19th Saopha of Lawksawk (Shan prince) of Shan Tribe, whose lineage dates back to 1630. Following the Burmese Military Regime’s push into power, the Hkam family left Burma in order to escape incarceration and execution due to their privileged royal status. At age 11, Hso and his family moved to the United States where they were granted political asylum.
Hso’s affinity for urban subculture, his fierce devotion to martial arts, and his intellectual prowess has chiseled a hard-edged persona that is reflected in his streetwise lifestyle. Influenced by movie directors, Wong Kar Wai and Jean-Luc Godard, Hso currently shoots and edits short films depicting his glitz-and-grit existence in Venice Beach. A filmmaker with talents and credits on both sides of the camera, Hso has etched a reputation as a chameleon, earning him the recognition by the Venice locals as an “iconic figure with dragon-gangster mystique.”
Raised by Oxford educated parents, Hso’s upbringing provided him with the cultural and intellectual exposure necessary to overcome the adversity of moving to a foreign land. He excelled in academics and sports, receiving an athletic scholarship to play tennis at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Realizing he had an affinity for the visual arts, Hso continued his education at the UCLA School of Art, where he received his BFA. Hso is a member of the Zeta Psi Fraternity of North America.
Hso has designed graphics for legendary Zephyr Skateboards, Venice Surf and Skate Association, and others. His film credits include festival favorite, Ghostown and Ground Bloom Flower. Fightin'4 the Forty earned him the Audience Choice Award at the Malibu Film Festival. In 2013, History is Myth won best short film at the Other Venice Film Festival and his feature directorial debut Money was completed. Hso has created over 100 video contents/documentaries for LAWeekly publication. The Association of Alternative Newsmedia awarded Theotis Beasley: Pro Skater, 1st place Short Form Documentary in 2018. Hsofilms • LA Weekly • Retrospective won Best Documentary Film at Santa Monica International Film Festival 2018.
Loyal to his Burmese heritage, Hso maintains his originality by living by the mantra expressed by his idol, Bruce Lee, “Always be yourself, always express yourself, and do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it".