NOMA presents an artist talk with photographer Binh Danh in the Lapis Center for the Arts during the museum’s new Wednesday evening hours.
Early in his career, Danh pioneered a technique of printing images directly onto tropical plants and grasses by activating the plants’ chlorophyll with sunlight and chemistry. Danh will speak about his early work, as well as his use of antiquated photography processes, like the daguerreotype, to make striking contemporary art. Danh’s work is included in NOMA’s permanent collection, and an example of chlorophyll printing is currently on view in the exhibition Photogenic: Photographs from the Collection of Cherye R. and James F. Pierce. Following the talk, attendees are invited to join Danh in the NOMA Museum Shop for a book signing of the artist’s first monograph, Binh Danh: The Enigma of Belonging (Radius Books, 2022).
The museum will be open until 8 pm for program attendees to explore.
Free with museum admission. Every Wednesday, Louisiana residents receive free admission to NOMA courtesy of The Helis Foundation.
About Binh Danh
Binh Danh was born in Vietnam and immigrated to the US in 1979. Early in his career, Danh pioneered a technique of printing images directly onto plant matter, activating the plants’ chlorophyll with sunlight. Using this process, Danh printed images associated with the war in Vietnam onto the leaves of tropical plants and grasses. Of this work, Danh explains, “This process deals with the idea of elemental transmigration: the decomposition and composition of matter into other forms. The images of war are part of the leaves, and live inside and outside of them.” 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. This inaugural monograph features two volumes in a slipcase, bringing together all three bodies of work and a separate book of essays and memorabilia that serves to contextualize Danh’s work.