Mills College Art Museum Announces Exhibition of New Work By Bay Area Artist Binh Danh

Oakland, CA–July 20, 2010. The Mills College Art Museum is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of new work by Bay Area artist Binh Danh entitled Collecting Memories, featuring daguerreotypes, chlorophyll prints, photographs, and historical artifacts, which capture past and present memories of the American-Vietnam War. Collecting Memories is co-curated by Lori Chinn and Stephanie Hanor and will be on view from August 21 through December 12, 2010. An opening reception with the artist will take place on August 25 from 5:30–7:30 pm.

Binh Danh, Car At Thien Mu Pagoda, Hue, Vietnam (detail), 2009. Archival pigment print.Binh Danh collects photographs and other remnants of the American-Vietnam War and reprocesses and represents them in ways that bring new light to a complicated, multivalent history. Danh is known for his unique chlorophyll printing process in which he takes found portraits of war casualties and anonymous soldiers and transfers them onto leaves and grasses through the process of photosynthesis. While Danh left Vietnam with his family at a young age, return trips to the country have profoundly influenced the development of his work.

Danh's recent work uses a combination of found images from the American-Vietnam War and photographs taken by the artist on recent visits to Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. "History is not something in the past. It is something living and of the present that is constantly changing," said Danh. By confronting the aftermath of war, Danh creates an opportunity to examine history through enduring memories, including residual documents of war, such as photographs.

In addition to large-scale photographs, Binh Danh: Collecting Memories features a series of daguerreotypes, depicting images of the My Lai Massacre Memorial at Son My Village, Funeral Chapel of Wat Xieng Thoung in Luang Prabang, Laos, and War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City. The daguerreotype is a photographic process dating to the 19th century, illustrating Danh's paralleled interest in historical forms of photography. The exhibition will also include interactive daguerreotype books, which juxtapose popular images from the Vietnam War era with those of today.

Danh received an MFA in Studio Art from Stanford University in 2004 and a BA in Photography from San Jose State University in 2002. Danh's work has been on view in select solo exhibitions, including In the Eclipse of Angkor, Jordan Schnitzer Museum, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon (2009); Life, Times, and Matters of the Swamp, Clara Hatton Gallery, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado (2008); and One Week's Dead, Light Work, Syracuse, New York (2007). He has been included in select group exhibitions, such as Agent Orange: Landscape, Body, Image, University of California, Riverside (2009); Shifted Focus: 10th Anniversary APAture Retrospective Exhibition, Kearny Street Workshop, San Francisco, California (2008); and One Way or Another: Asian American Art Now, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, California (2007). Danh has been awarded the Eureka Fellowship and residencies at Hollins University, Washington and Lee University, and Kala Art Institute. He currently lives and works in San Jose, California, and is represented by Haines Gallery, San Francisco.

Binh Danh: Collecting Memories has been supported by the Joan Danforth Art Museum Endowment.

Image: Binh Danh, Car at Thien Mu Pagoda, Hue, Vietnam (detail), 2009. Archival pigment print. Courtesy of the artist and Haines Gallery, San Francisco.

Public Programs:

September 8, 2010
Lecture by Binh Danh
7:00 pm, Danforth Lecture Hall, Art Building

November 3, 2010
Binh Danh in Conversation with Boreth Ly
7:00 pm, Mills College Art Museum

December 1, 2010
Reading with Andrew Lam, Isabelle Pelaud, and Troung Tran
7:00 pm, Mills College Art Museum

About the Mills College Art Museum
The Mills College Art Museum, founded in 1925, is a dynamic center for art that focuses on the creative work of women as artists and curators. The museum strives to engage and inspire the diverse and distinctive cultures of the Bay Area by presenting innovative exhibitions by emerging and established national and international artists. Exhibitions are designed to challenge and invite reflection upon the profound complexities of contemporary culture. The Mills College Art Museum is located at 5000 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, CA 94613. Museum hours are Tuesday-Sunday, 11:00 am–4:00 pm, and Wednesday, 11:00 am–7:30 pm. Admission is free for all exhibitions and programs unless noted. For more information, visit

About Mills College
Nestled in the foothills of Oakland, California, Mills College is a nationally renowned, independent liberal arts college offering a dynamic progressive education that fosters leadership, social responsibility, and creativity to approximately 950 undergraduate women and 550 graduate women and men. Since 2000, applications to Mills College have more than doubled. The College is named one of the top colleges in the West by U.S. News & World Report, and ranks as one of the Best 373 Colleges by The Princeton Review. ranked Mills 55th among America's best colleges and named it a "Top Ten: Best of the All-Women's Colleges. For more information, visit

Lori Chinn
Mills College Art Museum Program Manager

Abby Lebbert
Mills College Art Museum Publicity Assistant