My Le Thi was born and brought up in Buon Ma Thuot (Village of Father Thuot), Central Highlands in South Vietnam. As an orphan at the age of ten, she had to leave school to work in a salted fish shop where she taught herself art and music after work. When the Vietnam war ended in 1975, she became a professional performer, as a dancer and singer in the Central Highlands Troupe in South Vietnam, touring in Vietnam and Cambodia. In 1978, she won first prize in National Professional performance in Quy Nhon. In 1980 she was awarded a gold medal in a professional singing competition in Ha Noi.
In December 1985 she came to Australia. While staying at a Women’s Refuge, the manager of the house, Joyce Whaley, saw her drawings and enrolled her in an art course in the Darwin Arts College. Thi graduated in Arts at the Northern Territory University in 1994 and in Art Management at the University of Technology in Sydney in 1998. She also has extensive training in Digital Interactive Media (2014), Project Management (2014) and Teaching (2008 – 2020).
While practising her arts, she has collaborated on projects with several other artists; but she has mostly devoted her creative energy to working with non-artists, including detainees in the Villawood Detention Centre and communities from disadvantaged
backgrounds. Thi’s artwork is inspired by a wide variety of human survival stories. Through her art, Thi promotes human aspiration and condemns racism and discrimination. Her work was selected as one of the HSC case studies in 2004 and has been included in many major exhibitions in Australia, the USA and many Asian and European countries.
Thi has won a number of art awards, including the Jackson’s Drawing Prize (Darwin 1994), Exhibition Award (Darwin, Arts & Cultural Affairs & Australian Council for the Arts, 1995), New Work grants (Australia Council for the Arts,1999 & 2001), Project Grants (Ministry for the Arts,1999, 2000 & 2001), the Taipei Art Residency (Marrickville Council, Sister City Art Exchange Program, 2004) and Asialink Art Residency (Vietnam, 2006).
From 1987 to 2020, Thi has practised her art in mixed/multi-media in installation, painting, sculpture, sound and video. She has also worked as a performer, musician, set designer, cultural and art consultant and as a project coordinator on a number of performance projects with musicians, directors and performers including Azo Bell, Tuan Ngoc Hoang, Benni Seidel from Stretch M1, Khoa Do, Lex Marinos, Binh Ta, Khue Nguyen and Minh Pham.
Since 1998, Thi has also been working as an art facilitator and mentor, conducting art workshops for many groups of people from disadvantaged circumstances to encourage their voices and stories to be heard.

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