Profile: Binh Danh

by Mark Thompson

Binh Danh is an incoming Assistant Professor of photography in the Art and Art History Department. Graduating with his BFA from SJSU in 2002, Binh received his MFA from Stanford University in 2004 and has since emerged as a photographic artist of national importance. Binh’s photography uses alternative printing methods to investigate both his Vietnamese heritage and our collective memory of the war in Vietnam and Cambodia. Artist and innovator, Binh developed a printing technique which uses chlorophyll to embed documentary photographs from the Vietnam War onto the leaves of plants and trees. His newer work focuses on the daguerreotype process, which he has used on prisoner photographs of the thousands of Vietnamese and Cambodian victims of the brutal Khmer Rouge’s dictatorship, giving thema proper homage to the legacy of their life.” His most recent work uses the same process to capture the beauty of Yosemite. His work is in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the DeYoung Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Center for Creative Photography, the George Eastman Museum, and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He received the 2010 Eureka Fellowship from the Fleishhacker Foundation, and in 2012 was a featured artist at the 18th Biennale of Sydney in Australia.

Binh is happy to return to his alma mater as a professor. “As a product of SJSU, I’m thrilled to be coming home after six years teaching in the Sonoran Desert,” he says. “As I walk into my classroom, I’m inspired by the many faces that stare back at me. I see myself in my students, as once upon of time I was in their seats, wanting to better myself and contribute to our humanity.”

“In the coming years,” he says, “my goal is to develop a good rapport with my colleagues and students, continue my art practice, and teach what I love doing—living a creative life.”

Join us in welcoming Binh Danh to the College of Humanities and the Arts!