Faculty Profile: Tomas Vu-Daniel

Tomas Vu-Daniel

LeRoy Neiman Professor of Professional Practice, Discipline Director of Printmaking, Visual Arts


Tomas Vu-Daniel (b. Saigon, Vietnam) received a BFA from the University of Texas, El Paso, and an MFA from Yale University. He has been a professor at Columbia University School of the Arts since 1996, when he helped found the LeRoy Neiman Center for Print Studies. In 2000, he was appointed the LeRoy Neiman Professor of Visual Arts. Since its inception, Vu-Daniel has served as Director/Artistic Director of the Neiman center.


In his work, Vu-Daniel looks to his personal memories growing up in Vietnam during the war and current events to create ephemeral landscapes that explore the obscure space between memory and imagination. Opium Dreams (2003-2004), depicts a fantastical journey through the stages of hallucinatory vision utilizing layered paint, silkscreen, drawing and collage. Flatlands (2006-2012), a series of 103 unique prints, represents each minute of the 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. In 2011, Vu-Daniel began creating a series of hand-shaped paulownia wood surfboards onto which the artist used laser-engraving to draw overlapping images on one face of the board and lyrics of Beatles’ songs on the reverse side. His most recent series are Dark Side of the Moon (2013-present), composed of futuristic landscapes informed by technological and post-industrial advances of man painted onto mylar, and Green Go Home (2013-present), site-specific installations created in collaboration with Rirkrit Tiravanija integrating prints, graffiti and live drawing to investigate the complex theme of resistance.      


Vu-Daniel received a Joan Mitchell Foundation Fellowship award in 2001, a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2002, and a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Artist Award in 2017. Vu-Daniel participated in the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program in 2015 and received the Audience Award for Best Artist and residency at the 30th Biennial of Graphic Arts Ljubljana in 2016 and the 2018 Arts/Industry Residency at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center. He has had solo exhibitions at Milwaukee Institute for Art and Design (1998), Museum Haus Kusaya, Yokuska (2001), Centro Colombo Americano, Bogotá (2012), the China Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum, Beijing (2015), Vargas Museum, Manila (2017), and CHAOS, Tokyo (2018), both in collaboration with Rirkrit Tiravanija. Vu-Daniel will have a solo show at XC.HuA Galleries, Berlin (2018). Vu-Daniel has participated in numerous group shows including Organische Abstraction at Wilhem Hack Museum, Ludwigshafen (2006), Orpheus Selection: In Search of Darkness at MoMA PS1, New York City (2007), Boston High Tea: Master Print Series at Sunshine Museum, Songzhuang (2008), Contemporary Prints at Today Art Museum, Beijing (2009), Ten Years of Process and Collaboration 1998-2008 at Museum of the Central Academy of Fine Art, Beijing (2009), The American Contemporary Printing Exhibition at the National Art Museum of China, Beijing, that traveled to the Shanghai Art Museum, Zhejiang Art Museum, Hangzhou, and Guan Shanyue Art Museum, Shen Zhen (2010), Draw: Mapping Madness at Inside Out Art Museum, Beijing, that traveled to Dali Contemporary Art Museum (2014), Draw|Boston at the Massachusetts College of Art Bakalar & Paine Galleries (2017), Occupy Mana and Artists Need to Create on the Same Scale that Society has the Capacity to Destroyat Mana Contemporary, NJ (2017 – 2018), and many more. 

Undergraduate Courses Taught

  • Printmaking I: Silkscreening
  • Printmaking: Drawing into Print