Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Guide to the Binh Danh photographs from the Pulau Bidong Series MS.SEA.040
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (55.36 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing History
  • Historical Background
  • Collection Scope and Content Summary
  • Collection Arrangement
  • Access

  • Title: Binh Danh photographs from the Pulau Bidong series
    Collection number: MS.SEA.040
    Contributing Institution: University of California, Irvine. Libraries. Special Collections and Archives.
    Irvine, California 92623-9557
    Language of Material: English.
    Physical Description: 0.8 Linear feet (1 box)
    Date (inclusive): 2003-2009
    Abstract: The collection comprises seventeen black and white photographs taken in 2002 by Binh Danh during a visit to Pulua Bidong, an abandoned island off the coast of Malaysia, where Dahn's family lived as refugees before immigrating to the United Sates.
    Creator: Danh, Binh


    The collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the University of California. Copyrights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permissions to reproduce or to publish, please contact the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    Binh Danh photographs from the Pulau Bidong series. MS-SEA040. Special Collections and Archives, The UC Irvine Libraries, Irvine, California. Date accessed.
    For the benefit of current and future researchers, please cite any additional information about sources consulted in this collection, including permanent URLs, item or folder descriptions, and box/folder locations.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Binh Danh, 2010.

    Processing History

    Processed by Joanna Lamb, 2010.

    Historical Background

    Binh Danh was born in Vietnam in 1977 and immigrated to the United States with his family when he was two years old. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from San Jose State University in 2002 before becoming one of the youngest artists ever invited to the Stanford University Master of Fine Arts program. Since completing his MFA at Stanford in 2004, Dahn's work has been included in numerous solo and group exhibitions and has been added to numerous permanent collections including those at the Corcoran Art Gallery, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, the deYoung Museum, the George Eastman House, and the Harry Ransom Center.
    Dahn pioneered the chlorophyll print process which produces photographic style prints on organic matter such as leaves and grass. He uses this process to explore history, memory, interconnectedness, and death and to emphasize his notions of permanence and transformation. Through his work, Danh attempts to understand the residual effects of war on human memory and environmental landscapes. Dahn's chlorophyll process is the tangible result of his personal belief in elemental transmigration - the decomposition and composition of matter into other forms - and the philosophy that there is no death, only transformation. He often uses haunting found images created during the Vietnam War to investigate and reconstruct memories of events that have occurred before his time, but have left profound imprints on his personal experience.
    In 2002 Danh and his mother visited Pulua Bidong, a small abandoned Island off the coast of Malaysia, where Danh's family once lived in a Vietnamese refugee camp. Danh photographed the island during his visit and collected abandoned ephemera scattered throughout the remaining island's buildings. The Pulau Bidong Series includes chlorophyll prints of images from found ephemera and photographs taken on the island.

    Collection Scope and Content Summary

    The collection comprises seventeen 11"x14" black and white photographs taken in 2002 by Binh Danh, a Vietnamese American immigrant, during a visit to Pulau Bidong, an abandoned island off the coast of Malaysia where Danh's family lived as refugees before immigrating to the United States. The Pulau Bidong series includes images from the island that represent physical transformation through decay and environmental exposure in order to convey the metaphor that histories dissolve into their environments. In addition to the photographic prints included in this collection, the series incorporates chlorophyll prints of images from found ephemera on the island. This collection also includes three exhibition catalogs from other projects the artist has completed.

    Collection Arrangement

    This collection is arranged alphabetically by format.


    The collection is open for research.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Danh, Binh
    Pulua Bidong (Refugee camp : Malaysia).
    Photographic prints -- 21st century.
    Photographic prints -- Southeast Asia -- Exhibition catalogs
    Refugee camps -- Southeast Asia -- Photographs.
    Refugees -- Southeast Asia -- History -- Sources
    Vietnamese American artists