Brian Doan

Brian Doan was born in Vietnam and immigrated to the U.S. in 1991 at the end of the Cold War. He now lives and works in Long Beach, California. Doan creates work in photography, video, sculpture, found objects, and installation— examining issues of Vietnamese American identity, memory, and history. His work weaves together personal and collective experiences, creating a visually compelling tapestry that challenges and engages viewers, inviting them to reflect on their own interpretations and emotions.

Doan’s work has been exhibited internationally at the Museum of Photography in Riverside, California; the International Center of Photography in New York; the Centro de la Imagen in Mexico City; the Victoria & Albert Museum in London; the Amsterdam Tropenmuseum; the Milan Triennale, the Long Beach Museum of Art; and the Vilcek Foundation in New York. He is the recipient of several grants and awards including the California Council for the Humanities, the Rockefeller Fellows in the Humanities, the Fulbright-Hays Grant, and the Arts Council for Long Beach Artist Fellowship.

Brian Doan received his B.F.A. from the University of Colorado Denver and his M.F.A. from the Massachusetts College of Art & Design. He is currently a professor of Art & Photography at Long Beach City College.


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Contact Information

Brian Doan
(562) 938-3036

Artist Links




Artist Work

White Christmas
Depicting Brian Doan’s last childhood memory of his father during the Fall of Saigon in 1975: US military used "White Christmas" to signal evacuation. Doan, age 6, refused to leave; his father stayed behind and was sent to a reeducation camp. Doan later experienced a poignant white Christmas in Denver.

Choppers (2013)
Choppers reflect on memory's fluidity. Brian Doan grew up surrounded by helicopters on a military compound, recalling both joy and Vietnam's instability. Transforming a chopper into a lantern, he reconciles childhood innocence with the harsh realities of war before his full comprehension.

Two Mountains View (2021)
Two Mountains View captures a tranquil yet surreal scene where a neon light symbolizing the artist's lost homeland intersects with the newly found mountain in the Mojave Desert. This blend of nostalgia and the new environment prompts reflection on nature and human influence, merging the past and present.