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Binh Pho

 Binh Pho was born in Saigon, Vietnam in 1955. Today he lives in the USA since 1975.


Binh Pho is a critically acclaimed artist, known for an expansive approach to work in wood and glass that includes painting and a unique exploration of positive and negative space. The works feature a highly personal iconography, with imagery that relates to Asian culture and the natural world. The story of his journey from an idyllic childhood in Vietnam, the rise of Communism and his escape to the United States is shared in the book River of Destiny: The Life and Work of Binh Pho, published in 2006, in conjunction with a retrospective of his work at the Long Beach Museum of Art. Binh Pho is in demand as a lecturer and demonstrator and his work is exhibited internationally and in the permanent collection of numerous museums.


My life and work is always concerned with moving beyond boundaries - from escaping the Communists in Vietnam following the Fall of Saigon for a new life in the United States, to expanding the language of woodturning and exploring expansive media and processes. All of the work I have created and exhibited over the last decade has been narrative and conceptual, in some cases it is autobiographical and in others fictional, as is the case with Shadow of The Turning, the exhibition that is currently touring museums. I love to combine the beauty of nature, craft traditions and the language of art to imbue each of my works with a soul – a life that goes beyond my initial ideas and expands with the experiences and imagination of the viewer.

From a heavy lof of timber to a light, thin vessel, negative spaces interlock with solid surface. The color, grain and natural look of the wood all reflect the principle of Yin and Yang. My work comes from memories, culture, Zen mind and my own thoughts. Negative spaces inspire me, as they represent the unseen weight of the unknown, which I use to take the viewers into my work.
The make-up artist does not only know the script of a play, but also feels the characters that the actor and actresses are portraying. The make-up artist’s goal is to express that feeling to the audience.
What do I do? I put a soul into every piece I create. I don’t make objects; I create characters. If the viewers can pick up on that soul, I’ve accomplished it. Creating figurative and abstract imagery on delicately pierced wood vessels opens the doors for me to share my life and interests. There was a period of time that I looked through the window and asked myself the question,”What is it like on the other side of that window?” I then just let my imagination go.

 Visit his website here:


Selected Exhibitions


2015                     Audacious The Fine Art of Wood, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA

2014                     Beyond Boundary, A Special Presentation of Collectors of Wood Art, SOFA Chicago                             

2013                     Shadow of the Turning, Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, AL (traveling)

2013                           The Center for Art in Wood, Philadelphia, PA

2014                           Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, MA

2014                           Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum of Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach, SC

2015                           York Gallery Anderson University, Anderson, IN

2015-16                                    Craft & Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles, CA

2001-11                             Sculpture Objects & Functional Art Exposition, SOFA Chicago, IL

2001-09                             Sculpture Objects & Functional Art Exposition, SOFA New York, NY

2008                     A Perfect Marriage: Wood & Color, CWA Exhibit, SOFA, Chicago, IL

                              Le Temps d’un Rêve, Solo Exhibition, del Mano Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

                              Collectors of Wood Art Forum, Scottsdale, AZ

                              The Sphere, AAW Symposium, Richmond, VA; AAW Gallery of Wood Art, St. Paul,

2006                     River of Destiny: The Life and Work of Binh Pho, Long Beach Museum Of Art, Long     Beach, CA

                              Our Turn Now: Artists Speak Out in Wood, Ohio Craft Museum, Columbus, OH

2004-06                             Nature Transformed: Wood Art from the Bohlen Collection, Touring

                                            University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, MI

                                            Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, AL

                                            Museum of Arts & Design, New York, NY


2005                     Celebrating Nature: Craft Traditions/Contemporary Expressions, Craft & Folk Art

                              Museum, Los Angeles, CA

                              Beneath The Bark: 25 Years of Woodturning, Brigham Young University Museum of Art,

                              Provo, UT

2003                     Journees Mondiales: Tournage d'Art Sur Bois, Exhibitor and Lecturer, Puy St. Martin,


                              Homeland Exhibition: Artists, Immigration and Identity, Houston Center for

                              Contemporary Craft, Houston, TX

                              Into the Woods, Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA

                              Solo Exhibition, del Mano Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

                                             Minnesota Museum of American Art, St. Paul, MN

                                             University of California, Davis, CA

                                             University of New York, Purchase, NY

                                             Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts, Gatlinburg, TN


Selected Publications


2013                     Shadow of The Turning: Wallace, Kevin. Fine Art Press

2008                     New Masters of Woodturning: Expanding the Boundaries of Wood Art. Martin, Terry &

                              Wallace, Kevin. Fox Chapel Publishing, East Petersburg, PA.

2006                     River of Destiny: The Life and Work of Binh Pho. Wallace, Kevin. Long Beach Museum

                              of Art, Long Beach, CA.

                              World & I Magazine. Volume 18, Number 6.“Opposite Attraction”. Henkin, Stephen. pp


                              Craft Arts International.  Issue 59. “Tao of Life and Art”. Wallace, Kevin. Pp 27-33.

2001                     Challenge VI- Roots: Insights & Inspirations In Contemporary Turned Objects.

                              Holzapfel, Michelle; Rice, Robin & Tyler, Christopher. Wood Turning Center,

                              Philadelphia, PA.