Binh Pho


On April 30, 1975 the war was ended in Vietnam. It made a dramatic turn in my life. I was in my sophomore year of college majoring in Architecture but the "Red Peace" ended that. At that time there were only two schools. One taught Communism, the other was a Re-education Camp.

I refused to accept the reality of Communism. Six months later I attempted my first escape to find freedom, but instead I ended up in a Re-education Camp. I spent one year in there to supposedly get my brain-washed, then they let me back in the city. After that I tried three more times. Finally my day had come... On September 29, 1978 I and my 38 companions reached the Freedom Soil after seven days on the small boat floating across the Gulf of Siam to Malaysia. Due to vast numbers of refugees at that time, I spent eight months in a Refugee Camp located on a deserted island outside of Kuala Lumpur.

The date was May 7, 1979 when I was re-united with my family in St. Louis, Missouri after four of the longest years of my life. Now I reside in Maple Park, Illinois, a western suburb of Chicago, where I designed and built a 1,500 square-foot studio next to the house.

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 http://www.angelfire.com/il2/binhpho/