The Enigma of Belonging • Binh Danh
Hardcover / 2 Volumes in a Slipcase, 9.75 x 11.75 inches, 130 images / 276 pages (total), Radius Books.
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.
Texts by Binh Danh, Boreth Ly, Joshua Chuang, Isabelle Thuy Pelaud, Andrew Lam
Estimated delivery November 2022