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 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 collects photographs and other remnants of the 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 imprints the found portraits of war casualties and anonymous soldiers into the cells of leaves and grasses, and then embeds them in resin for preservation. 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 Vietnam War and photographs taken by the artist on recent visits to Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. Using traditional 19th-century daguerreotype techniques, Danh juxtaposes these two sides of history to draw attention to the ways in which collective memory is constructed. 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 framed daguerreotypes and interactive daguerreotype books, the exhibition will include large-scale color photographs and an installation of found historical artifacts that together demonstrate the power of photography to form and shape collective memories.
Binh Danh received his MFA from Stanford University in 2004. He lives and works in San Jose, CA. Binh Danh: Collecting Memories is co-curated by Lori Chinn and Stephanie Hanor.