Lap Tran has been designing and fabricating packaging for fine arts and antiques since 1981. His career began in the crate shop of the original Artransport under the careful guidance of the Godfather of crating, John Douglas, when that company was located at South Nelson Street in Arlington, Virginia. Since that time, Tran has managed crate shops for two of the largest companies in the industry and has solved some of the most challenging packing problems for many of the country's top museums.
Tran was born in Rach Gia, South Vietnam December 27, 1956. He managed and worked on his family's farm while attending school in Saigon for the first 17 years of his life. He joined the war effort in the early 70's and was stationed in Cambodia where he endured two years in a POW camp. When Communist forces took control of the country, Tran was forced to flee to the United States.
Among the many professions successfully pursued in his life are general contractor, electrician, carpenter, plumber, engineer, artist, gourmet chef, and fine art packer. Tran has overseen construction of many large scale houses and has built and managed several nail salons. He continues to teach the younger art handlers through constant demonstration and remains the core of the Bonsai Fine Arts art handling team.
Scott Pittman began his art handling career in 1985 after receiving a BA from University of Maryland in studio art. He also earned a degree in Economics and a Masters Degree in Bilingual Education from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Pittman developed his knowledge of packing and crating of fine arts and antiques from the countless long distance shuttles performed during his employment at two of the larger art services companies.
After trips to Alaska, Southeast Asia, Mexico, Spain, Italy, and Eastern Europe, he took a position at the Baltimore Museum of Art where he learned the extensive process of organizing and packing large scale exhibitions. Throughout the 1990's Pittman developed his knowledge and appreciation for protecting artworks in transit as well as his skill at art installation.
After managing field offices for larger companies, Pittman joined with Lap Tran to form Bonsai Fine Arts, a company that focused on the technical needs of the great museums of the Washington Baltimore Metropolitan areas. Since adding a trucking department, climate controlled storage and developing a presence all along the eastern seaboard, the company has become an essential partner with many museums and collections.
Chad Jones has been a fine art handler since 1986. After receiving his Fine Arts Degree he began his art handling career in New York City with Metropolitan Art Transport and Philips de Pury. He honed his fine art transportation, packing, crating and installation skills with several national Fine Arts Services companies, as well as working for the Smithsonian and many other major museums as an independent technician.
Along with James Johnson, he founded Bonsai ARTransport, the transportation division of Bonsai Fine Arts in July 2005.
As an artist and collector Jones brings a deep feeling of personal responsibility and stewardship to the objects in his care. He considers this the defining characteristic of Bonsai's underlying philosophy.
James Johnson graduated from Flagler College in Florida where he studied Art and Business. During this time he owned and operated an art gallery/record store/community show space. James began his art handling career in the late 90's working for several national fine art services running shuttles across the country as well as contracting for the Walters Art Museum.
As the lead vocalist of a band that toured extensively and whose final album was a collaborative effort with Charles Long for a performance in the 2008 Whitney Biennial, Johnson views Bonsai as a living art work. He believes Bonsai can offer artists a living wage for work that they can take pride in and allow time off to focus on their creations.
Johnson views Bonsai as an opportunity to provide total attention to detail.