Trinh Mai is an interdisciplinary, California-based artist whose work is driven by innovative narratives of storytelling. Her artistic creations re-imagine personal and inherited memories, family roots, and spiritual connections that alter conceptions of our identities and shared histories. Since receiving her B.F.A. in Pictorial Art from San Jose State University and furthering her studies at UCLA, Trinh continues exhibiting, with works taking residence in public and private collections internationally. In addition to exhibiting with well-respected institutions such as the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and the Naples Museum of Art, her passion for intermixing arts and collaboration has inspired her community involvement. Among her various roles, she has served as Project Director for the Vietnamese American Arts & Letters Association, Master Teaching Artist for the Bowers Museum, Course Developer for the Pacific Symphony, and Curator at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts. Trinh has also worked with the University of California Irvine’s Vietnamese American Oral History Project as Artist-in-Residence to bring a visual arts language to help tell the stories of Vietnamese America. During her artist residency for Community Engagement in partnership with Grand Central Art Center, she facilitated self-exploratory visual arts workshops for underrepresented communities of Santa Ana.
Trinh has been invited to the University of Washington as a Walker-Ames Guest Scholar, Stanford University, and Harvard University, among numerous academic and arts institutions to engage the community in creative storytelling and to speak about her art practice. She has had her visual art, poetry, and analyses of her work published in various publications including the Journal of Southeast Asian American Education & Advancement (Purdue University), Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society (University of Chicago Press), Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism (Duke University Press), and Ruminate Magazine. Recognizing the role of art to educate and heal, Trinh has exhibited in support of the Friends of Hue Foundation Children's Shelter in Vietnam, the Angkor Hospital for Children in Cambodia, has shown her work at AT&T Park and Union Square to benefit the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation, and at Oracle Arena with the Golden State Warriors to aid the Warriors Community Foundation in its mission to support education in the San Francisco Bay Area. Seeking hope within humanity’s incessant struggle in war and hardship, she has partnered with Oceanside Museum of Art and MiraCosta College in developing fine art projects that engage survivors of war. In addition, she has partnered with the San Diego Art Institute in producing interactive works that address the injustices that fuel fear and incite conflict within the Vietnamese community and beyond, and has worked with the International Rescue Committee in providing refugee youth from Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and East and West Africa with arts education and creative expression in honoring home, heritage, history, and heroism. Her artistic journey has been documented by TAO in the film called Honoring Life: The Work of Trinh Mai, which brought home the Audience Choice Award for Best Short Film at the 2016 Viet Film Festival.
*Banner from a still from Honoring Life: The Work of Trinh Mai