Trinh Mai is an interdisciplinary, California-based artist whose work is driven by innovative narratives of storytelling. Her artistic creations re-imagine personal 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 to exhibit her work, having works taking residence in public and private collections internationally. In addition to exhibiting her work 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. She has served as Project Director for the Vietnamese American Arts & Letters Association (VAALA), 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.
As Artist-in-Residence for Community Engagement in partnership with Grand Central Art Center, she facilitated self-exploratory visual arts workshops, serving underserved communities of Santa Ana. She has been invited to Stanford University, Harvard University, and various academic and arts institutions to speak about her practice and has had her artwork, poetry, and reflections on her work published in numerous publications including the Journal of Southeast Asian American Education & Advancement (Purdue University), Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society (University of Chicago 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. Currently, Trinh is a member of the Artist Advisory Board for The Artist Odyssey (TAO), a global arts network based in San Diego, who supports arts education. Seeking hope within humanity’s constant struggle in war and hardship, she has also partnered with Oceanside Museum of Art and MiraCosta College in developing socially engaging art projects for survivors of war, and has worked with the International Rescue Committee in providing refugee youth with arts expression to honor home, heritage, and history. Her inspirations and journey as an artist have 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