Creative Minds: Binh Danh and Trinh Mai

This event was held live on Thursday, November 19, 12pm.

Creative Minds—SJMA’s premier artist talk series—provides audiences with an opportunity to meet artists and hear directly from them as they talk about their creative processes and practices. In this iteration, Trami Cron, Executive Director of Chopsticks Alley, moderates a conversation with artists Binh Danh and Trinh Mai. Both artists are featured in Hidden Heritages: San Jose’s Vietnamese Legacy, a two-year collaboration between the San José Museum of Art, Chopsticks Alley, and the City of San José Office of Cultural Affairs. The project brings Vietnamese artists and community members together to share, amplify, and artistically present stories that reveal the contributions of Vietnamese Americans to San José, one of California’s most diverse cities. Photographer Binh Danh and interdisciplinary artist Trinh Mai will discuss their work, practices, and careers through the lens of identity, inherited memory, and the immigrant experience.   

About the Speakers

Binh Danh reconfigures traditional photographic techniques and processes in unconventional ways to delve into the connection between history, identity, and place. He earned an MFA from Stanford University. His work has been collected by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; National Gallery of Art, Washington; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and San Jose Museum of Art. He is an assistant professor of art at San José State University.

Trinh Mai is a California-based artist whose work ranges from her first love of oil on canvas to installations built from materials she inherits and gathers from nature. Since graduating with a BFA from San Jose State University and furthering her studies at UCLA, she has continued exhibiting nationally, with works in public and private collections internationally. Her current work confronts the fear, injustice, and the devastation that has harrowed our world, our communities, and our refugee and immigrant families, then and now. Recognizing the role of art to educate and heal, Trinh has exhibited in support of numerous humanitarian organizations, including the Friends of Hue Foundation Children's Shelter in Viet Nam and the Angkor Hospital for Children in Cambodia. Seeking hope within humanity’s struggle in war and hardship, she has partnered with various organizations, including the International Rescue Committee and San Diego Art Institute, in developing socially engaging projects with survivors of war from all over the world. Mai is a recipient of the University of Washington’s prestigious Walker-Ames Fellowship, and continues to be invited to leading academic and arts institutions to engage the community in creative storytelling and to speak about her art practice, with the hope of helping usher Us into collective healing, and an enduring hope that will buoy us as we navigate through our devastating world.

Trami Cron is the founder of Chopsticks Alley Art and Chopsticks Alley multi-media publication.  She is a cultural organizer, producer, and host of talk shows, podcast, and author of VietnamEazy, a novel about healing the mother-daughter relationship through food. She currently serves as a San José Arts Commissioner.