Vietnamese-American, b. 1977
Lives and works in San Jose, CA
Known for his innovative approach to alternative photographic processes, Binh Danh extends and reconsiders the pursuit of pioneering nineteenth century photographers. For almost a decade, Danh has traveled across the American West, making daguerreotypes of scenic vistas on silver plates in a mobile darkroom he calls Louis, after Louis Daguerre. Danh imbues this scenery with his distinctly personal perspective—namely, an attempt to negotiate his connection as a Vietnamese American with the landscape and history of the United States. The highly reflective surfaces of Danh’s daguerreotypes literally mirror their surroundings, embracing viewers within the idyllic environs of national sites and landmarks.
Danh’s images are a result of his three-year investigation into perfecting the creation of one-of-a-kind, “in-camera” daguerreotypes. Working with large format cameras modified to accept silver plates rather than film negatives, Danh’s command of this complex process is revealed in his attention to detail, diligently preparing and treating each plate’s surface to produce works that accentuate the unique lighting conditions of the scene.
Danh received his BFA in Photography from San Jose State University, and MFA from Stanford University. He has been the subject of recent solo exhibitions at institutions including the Louisiana State Museum, New Orleans, LA (2018); Phillips Museum of Art at Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, PA (2018); Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, NY (2016); and Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke, VA (2015). Danh’s work is held in a number of permanent institutional collections, including the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; de Young Museum, San Francisco, CA; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA; Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, MA; George Eastman Museum, Rochester, NY; and San Jose Museum of Art, CA. He was included in the 18th Biennale of Sydney, Australia (2012), and has completed recent residencies at the Sun Valley Center for the Arts, Hailey, ID (2013); Lesley University, Cambridge, MA (2018), and with Haines Gallery in Nevada City, CA (2019).