Born in a 1973 in a small Karen village in Karen State, Myanmar (also known as Burma), Saw Kennedy was forced to flee to Thailand to escape his country's repressive military government. Arriving first at Umpiem, a refugee camp along the Thailand/Burma border, Kennedy joined the march of thousands of other Karen people fearing their villages would be the next target for the government labor program and ethnic persecution. He fled Myanmar with his wife who carried their unborn child, his son Junior Kennedy.
Saw Kennedy's artistic career began in 1988, the same year as the "8-8-88 Uprising" in Myanmar. He comes from a family of talented artists and originally founded a gallery with his three artistic brothers in Mawlamine, Mon State, Myanmar. After arriving in Umpiem refugee camp, Kennedy became the Youth Development Art Director and in 2005, moved to Mae Sot, Thailand. For years, he lived in Mae Sot and worked with the local community as a teacher and painter.
Through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, Kennedy resettled to Seattle in 2008. His artwork has been featured in the Vidya Gallery. In 2019, he moved to Ft. Wayne, Indiana, where he currently resides.
Saw Kennedy uses a unique charcoal method. He also expresses himself through the mediums of watercolor and acrylic. He is the Lead Organizer for the U&I Artist Group, a creative collaborative of artists from Myanmar (Burma) and the United States. U&I was started in order to connect the diverse peoples of Myanmar and the United States through art and other creative mediums. He is also the Lead Artistic Curator for Window to the Soul: A Burma Art Exhibition, which is the largest collection of Myanmar artwork to be exhibited in the United States.
Saw Kennedy is active within his community engaging youth and adult leadership alike from the various Burma ethnic nationalities, and is a committed intercultural bridge builder.