Binh Danh

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Binh Danh
Born
Binh Danh

(1977-10-09) October 9, 1977 (age 42)
Vietnam
NationalityVietnamese American
EducationStanford University
Known forPhotography, Chlorophyll prints
Notable work
Life:Dead

Binh Danh (born October 9, 1977) is a Vietnamese-born photographer and artist. He immigrated with his parents to the United States in 1979.[1][2]

Danh was educated at San José State University and in 2002, studied Asian American studies and achieved a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography.[3] At the age of 25, Danh was one of the youngest artists to be invited into Stanford University's Master of Fine Arts program.[4] He accepted this invitation and at Stanford, he studied the subject of studio art for his Master's.

Danh's art focuses predominately on the Vietnam War era and he has been quoted as saying that a lot of his work is involved with the theme of death.[1] Danh has also said that the photographs he uses "bring up and start to fabricate memories" of his life in Vietnam.[1] His images were described as being able to "summon up revulsion over present violent conflicts in the world without direct topical reference" [5] and a critic said that his images of war scenes "evoked wars past and present with an unforced economy almost unparalleled in political art."[6]

Technique[edit]

Danh uses a specific organic technique of his own invention to create his art, the style of which is referred as chlorophyll print. This process begins with choosing a suitable leaf; Danh prefers to use leaves from his mother's garden.[4] Positives of photographs are placed onto leaves, and then covered with glass to be exposed to sunlight for a period of days. If Danh is satisfied with the finished piece, it will be encapsulated permanently by being cast in a solid block of resin.[7] Danh has articulated that throughout his education he has been "very attracted to art, history, and science" and that the processes used in his work represent his "interest in the sciences and photographic techniques."[7] Danh has also stated that the history he searches for "are the hidden stories embedded in the landscape around"[7] him that chlorophyll prints "capture his belief in the interconnectedness of the natural world."[4]

Notable works[edit]

"Life: Dead", a series of framed, withered leaves imprinted with images of dead soldiers, was created using photographs of American soldiers who died between May 28 and June 3, 1969, the images of which were taken from an issue of Life magazine titled "One Week's Dead", and then were digitally rendered into a negative print.[8]

To create "Searching for the Cosmos", Danh used images downloaded from the Internet of the night sky, the negative of which were overlaid on individual leaves. The shadows of the negatives meant that the leaves were deprived of light. On one particular veined, almond-shaped leaf, named "Night Sky", this interruption in photosynthesis resulted in an image that was described as being "like the starry heavens."[9]

To accompany an ofrenda, or offering, he produced for the Oakland Museum show in 2003, which combined photographs of the dead, candles, incense and a statue of the Buddha. Danh commented on his own culture's observance of death, "I come from a Vietnamese Buddhist background, so in my house there are many altars dedicated to many deceased relatives."[10]

Individual exhibitions[edit]

  • 2004 - Human / Nature at the Haines Gallery, San Francisco, CA
  • 2005 - Binh Danh’s Photographic Works, Mohn Gallery, Finn Center, Community School of Arts & Music, Mountain View, CA
  • 2006 - Ancestral Altars, Haines Gallery, San Francisco, CA
  • 2007 - Botanical Stories Sanchez Art Center, Pacifica, CA
  • 2007 - One Week’s Dead, Light Work, Syracuse, New York
  • 2007 - Jungle of Memories, Chico State University, Chico, CA
  • 2007 - The Botany of Tuol Sleng at the Lisa Sette Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ
  • 2008 - Life, Times, and Matter of the Swamp at the Mary Elizabeth Dee Shaw Gallery, Weber State University, Ogden, UT
  • 2008 - Life: Dead at the Clara Hatton Gallery, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
  • 2009 - In the Eclipse of Angkor at the Lisa Sette Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ
  • 2009 - In the Eclipse of Angkor at the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum, Hollins University, Roanoke, VA
  • 2010 - Memory to Memory at the Lisa Sette Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ
  • 2010 - Binh Danh: Collecting Memories Mills College Art Museum, CA
  • 2010 - Binh Danh: In the Eclipse of Angkor North Carolina Museum of Art

Collective exhibitions[edit]

Collective exhibitions
  • 1996 - Olympiad of the Arts, Villa Montalvo, CA
  • 1998 - Botany Specimens, Gallery Five, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA
  • 1998 - Once White, Gallery Five, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA
  • 1999 - Killing Death: the Daguerreotype Series, Gallery Two, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA
  • 1999 - Evidence, Gallery Five, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA
  • 1999 - Silent night auction, Works/San Jose, San Jose, CA
  • 2000 - Boat People: Self Portraits, Gallery Two, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA
  • 2001 - Immortality: The Remnants of the Vietnam and American War, Gallery Three, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA
  • 2001 - Viêt nam, Gallery Three, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA
  • 2001 - The Beauty of Decay, Cogswell College, Sunnyvale, San Jose, CA
  • 2001 - Introduction South, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, San Jose, CA
  • 2001 - First Anniversary Exhibit, Art Object Gallery, San Jose, CA
  • 2002 - Immortality: The Remnants of the Vietnam and American War, solo, Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery, Porter College, UC Santa Cruz, CA
  • 2002 - Searching for the Cosmos, Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, CA
  • 2002 - Remembrance, Silicon Valley Art Museum, Belmont, CA
  • 2002 - Ag Works 25, member show, Works/San Jose, San Jose. CA
  • 2002 - Magician’s Day Off and Other Stories, Euphrat Museum of Art, Cupertino, CA
  • 2002 - Thinking Green: With the Earth, Arts and Environment, Gallery Route One, Point Reyes, CA
  • 2003 - Bring Light into the Darkness, SomArts Cultural Center, San Francisco, CA
  • 2003 - Global Elegies: Art & Ofrendas for the Dead, Oakland Museum of CA, Oakland, CA
  • 2003 - APAture, SomArts Cultural Center, San Francisco, CA
  • 2003 - The Cameraless Image, Photo-Eye Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
  • 2003 - Agitate, SF Camerawork, San Francisco, CA
  • 2003 - Orange Alert, Thomas Welton Stanford Art Gallery, Stanford, CA
  • 2003 - Hybrid, SF State University Fine Arts Gallery, San Francisco, CA
  • 2004 - Cream, Arts Benicia Center Gallery, Benicia, CA
  • 2004 - MFA Exhibition, Thomas Welton Stanford Art Gallery, Stanford, CA
  • 2004 - What’s going on? California and the Vietnam Era, Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, CA
  • 2004 - State of the Nation, Intersection of the Arts, San Francisco, CA
  • 2004 - Collapsing Histories Project, Daigo Fukuryu Maru Exhibition Hall and Gallery ef, Tokyo, Japan
  • 2004 - Collapsing Histories Project, Santa Cruz Institute of Contemporary Art, Santa Cruz, CA
  • 2004 - Re-mix 2004, SomArts Cultural Center, San Francisco, CA
  • 2004 - California Masters, Works/San Jose, San Jose. CA
  • 2004 - Art as artifacts, Martin Luther King Library, San Jose, CA
  • 2004 - Closing the Distance, Euphrat Museum of Art, Cupertino, CA
  • 2004 - Perspective x 3: Visions of Vietnam: Chuong, Danh, and Narasimhan, Chinese Culture Center, San Francisco, CA
  • 2005 - Director’s Choice: Contemporary Art with Objects from Asi, Haines Gallery, San Francisco, CA
  • 2005 - Stages of Memory: The War in Vietnam, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Columbia College, Chicago, IL
  • 2005 - Persistent Vestiges: Drawing from the American-Vietnam War, The Drawing Center, New York, NY
  • 2005 - Picturing Eden, George Eastman House, Rochester, NY
  • 2005 - In/Sight; A Celebration of Photography and Poetry, Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, CA
  • 2006 - Director’s Choice, Haines Gallery, San Francisco, CA
  • 2006 - 2006 California Biennial, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA
  • 2006 - Picturing Eden, George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography and Film, Rochester, NY
  • 2006 - The Missing Peace: The Dalai Lama Portrait Project, Fowler Museum of Cultural History, University of California, LA, Loyola University Museum of Art, Chicago, Rubin Museum of Art, NY
  • 2006 - Peripheral Vision, Intersection for the Arts, San Francisco, CA
  • 2006 - Image as Object, Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery, Porter College, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA
  • 2006-07 - One Way or Another: Asian American Art Now, Asia Society Museum, New York, NY [Traveling exhibition. Other venues include: Blaffer Gallery, University of Houston, Berkeley Art Museum, Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, CA]
  • 2007 - Contemporary Art from the Permanent Collection, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA
  • 2007 - Landscape & Memory II, Haines Gallery, San Francisco, CA
  • 2007 - Witness to War: Revisiting Vietnam in Contemporary Art, International Center for the Arts at San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA

Collections[edit]

  • Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
  • M.H. de Young Museum, San Francisco, CA
  • Museum of Contemporary Photography, Columbia College, Chicago, IL
  • Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, CA
  • Rochester Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, NY
  • University of California, Santa Cruz’s Special Collection
  • Eleanor D. Wilson Museum, Hollins University, Roanoke, VA
  • North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA

Awards[edit]

  • 1996 - Bank of America Achievement Award in the Field of Fine Arts, Plaque Winner, San Jose, CA
  • 1996 - Montalvo Award of Merit, Villa Montalvo, CA
  • 2000 - Lottery Grant, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA
  • 2001 - Individual Grant, Belle Foundation, San Jose, CA
  • 2004 - Artist Project Award, The Center for Photographic Art, Carmel, CA
  • 2007 - Visions from the New California Award, Alliance of Artists Communities, Providence, RI

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Binh Danh". Retrieved 2008-11-10.
  2. ^ Baker, Kenneth (2006-09-16). "Lazzarini's distorted sewer covers pop off a cultural lid". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-11-10.
  3. ^ "Binh Danh biography". Archived from the original on 2008-10-10. Retrieved 2008-11-10.
  4. ^ a b c Levine, Ketzel (2003-06-23). "Binh Danh's Chlorophyll Art". NPR. Archived from the original on 2008-11-21. Retrieved 2008-11-10.
  5. ^ Baker, Kenneth (2004-09-18). "Danh uses sun to capture images of war on leaves". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-11-10.
  6. ^ Baker, Kenneth (2004-12-26). "Critic's Choices 2004". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-11-10.
  7. ^ a b c Pescovitz, David (2006-10-23). "Binh Danh's chlorophyll prints". Boing Boing. Retrieved 2008-11-10.
  8. ^ Riggott, Julie (2008-02-26). "Asian Art, by Way of Blondie". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-11-10.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ Baker, Kenneth (2003-06-07). "Artists leave the camera out of the picture". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-11-10.
  10. ^ Hendricks, Tyche (2003-10-31). "Dia de los Muertos". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-11-10.

External links[edit]

Archival collections[edit]