Phung Huynh is a Los Angeles-based artist and educator whose practice is in drawing, painting, public art, and community engagement. Her work investigates notions of cultural identity from a kaleidoscopic perspective, a continual shift of idiosyncratic translations. The contemporary American landscape is where she explores how cultural ideas are imported, disassembled, and then reconstructed. Her reflections and research have guided Huynh to re-stitch traditional Asian iconography within the loosely woven fabric of American popular culture to call attention to (mis)interpretations and (re)appropriations. Huynh considers how cultural authenticity disintegrates within a capitalist framework to challenge the viewer with a western-leaning perspective.
With a strong commitment to community engagement and social practice, Huynh has completed significant public art projects throughout Los Angeles County. Her most important public art project to date is Sobrevivir, which was unveiled and dedicated on July 11, 2022 at the Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center. A large-scale Corten steel floor sculpture, Sobrevivir (Spanish to "survive" and to “exist") recognizes the women and events surrounding the practice of coerced sterilization at the LAC + USC Medical Center in the 1960s and 70s. Over 200 women who delivered babies at the hospital, the majority of them immigrants born in Mexico with little income or knowledge of the English language, underwent sterilization procedures without their knowledge or consent. Situated within a circular area in the plaza between the historic and new Medical Center buildings, Huynh's memorial conveys LA County's acknowledgment of the irreparable harm inflicted upon the women who were subjected to these coerced sterilizations, and their families. In her dedication, she offered her artwork as a site of contemplation, healing, and renewal.
Phung Huynh (b. Vietnam, 1977) completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Southern California, received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with distinction from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, and her Master of Fine Arts degree from New York University. With a strong commitment to community engagement and social practice, Huynh has completed significant public art projects throughout Los Angeles County, including most recently Sobrevivir, a large-scale Corten steel floor sculpture that recognizes the women and events surrounding the practice of coerced sterilization at the LAC + USC Medical Center in the 1960s and 1970s. Additional public art commissions include the Metro Orange Line; Metro Silver Line; and the Los Angeles Zoo.
She was the subject of a recent solo exhibition at the Vincent Price Art Museum, Los Angeles, CA; and her work has been exhibited at the USC Pacific Asia Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA; and Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA, among others. Her work in included in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Los Angeles, CA; Dallas Art Museum, Dallas, TX; University of Arizona Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ; Vincent Price Art Museum, Monterey Park, CA; USC Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, CA; Escalette Permanent Collection of Art at Chapman University, Orange, CA; and the Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine Art Collection, Pasadena, CA. She was a 2022 recipient of the California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists and the 2021 COLA Individual Artist Fellowship. Huynh is an Assistant Professor of Art at California State University Los Angeles where her focus is on serving disproportionately impacted students. She has served as Chair of the Public Art Commission for the city of South Pasadena and Chair of the Prison Arts Collective Advisory Council. She is currently on the Board of Directors for LA Más, a non-profit organization that serves BIPOC working class immigrant communities in Northeast Los Angeles.
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is pleased to announce Phung Huynh as a 2023 Montavlo Arts Center artist fellow. Of 370 applicants, 65 artists—spanning careers from emerging to established—were awarded Lucas Artists Fellowships: 30 in the field of visual arts, 19 in literary arts, and 16 in music/composition and performing arts.
Luis De Jesus is proud to announce the Museum of Modern Art's accession of Arn Chorn-Pond, 2023, by Phung Huynh, into the permanent collection. This graphite drawing on a pink donut box depicts Arn Chorn-Pond, a Cambodian musician, human rights activist, and a survivor of the Khmer Rouge regime. He is an advocate for the healing and transformative power of the arts, especially music. Arn Chorn-Pond is one of nine works in Huynh's sold out series, From the Donut Box, informed by her experience as a refugee of Cambodian and Chinese descent from vietnam.
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is pleased to announce that Phung Huyn has been named the 2023 honoree in art for the Women of Impact Awards.
The Women of Impact Awards was created in honor of Women’s History Month to spotlight the efforts of our extraordinary women in the 77th Assembly District.
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is proud to announce that Phung Huynh has been awarded a 2022 California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artist Fellows. The CCF fellowships are one of the most "prestigious arts fellowships in the region, which helps artists build successful, sustainable careers that support the thriving Los Angeles arts scene."
On Thursday, September 7, 2023, at 3 PM, Pepperdine Libraries will present a panel conversation with artist Phung Huynh, whose exhibition, Donut (W)hole, is on display in the Payson Library Exhibit Gallery through September 10, 2023. The event is free and will be held in the Surfboard Room at they Payson Library on the Malibu campus.
American assimilation and its effect on identity has long interested Phung Huynh, 46, who left her country after the end of the war. Her 2021 series, “American Braised,” which is currently on view in the exhibition “Vietnam in Transition, 1976-Present” at the Wende Museum in Culver City, Calif., inlays imagery from her own refugee experience into glass snow globes atop cumbersome wooden bases.
Everyone has a story to share. Phung Huynh, a Los Angeles-based artist and educator who has exhibited her works internationally as well as completing public art commissions across Los Angeles County, came to Scripps College to share hers.
November in Los Angeles brings us shows that highlight art’s role as both a reflection of everyday life and a force to help change our reality. An exhibition at Angels Gate Cultural Center showcases the multifaceted programs of the community-based Slanguage Studio. Shows at the Vincent Price Art Museum and Skirball Cultural Center highlight the potential of art to memorialize and record our histories.
Phung Huynh is an L.A. artist and educator – and creator of sobrevivir, which means survival in Spanish. The artwork was commissioned to publicly apologize to the over 240 largely Mexican immigrant women who were forcibly sterilized at the hospital in the ‘60s and ‘70s
While for many Californians pink donut boxes signal little more than the arrival of a favorite snack, for Cambodian refugees and their children, the ubiquitous, cheerful-looking packaging is often deeply intertwined with their family history of resettling in the United States. Several years ago, Phung Huynh realized the bright pink packaging offered a highly symbolic and visually striking canvas for her drawings. The portraits depict her family and other members of Cambodian and Vietnamese communities in an effort to highlight their stories of hardship, trauma and resilience.
The 2022 FVA fellows are: April Banks (Interdisciplinary-Mixed Media); Nao Bustamante (Interdisciplinary-Mixed Media); Enrique Castrejon (Installation); Patty Chang (Interdisciplinary-Mixed Media); June Edmonds (Painting); Reanne Estrada (Interdisciplinary-Mixed Media); Asher Hartman (Installation and Experimental Film and Video); Iris Yirei Hu (Installation); Phung Huynh (Painting); Young Joon Kwak (Interdisciplinary-Mixed Media); Sandra Low (Painting); and Suné Woods (Experimental Film and Video).
At the heart of this garden, there is now a new monument that is not only poignant but also timely. “Sobrevivir,” by L.A. artist Phung Huynh, marks the coerced sterilizations that once took place at the hospital in the 1960s and ’70s — mostly of Mexican women from working-class backgrounds. It also pays tribute the 10 people who filed a class-action lawsuit against L.A. County doctors, the state and the federal government for sterilizing them without adequate consent.
A new art project is intended to serve as an apology to the more than 200 women who suffered forced sterilizations decades ago at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. Artist Phung Huynh's piece, "Sobrevivir," the Spanish word for "survive," serves as an ode to the survivors, many of whom immigrated from Mexico.
"I want the art to be impactful and meaningful and create a deep experience for contemplation for viewers," said artist Phung Huynh. "The material is made of metal to symbolize the mother's strength, and I want this to last forever."
It’s a part of our history which isn’t often talked about, the coerced sterilization of thousands of women across the country, including in L.A. County. Now one hospital is taking steps to acknowledge and apologize.
During a somber unveiling ceremony Monday on a grassy courtyard at LAC + USC hospital, county officials gave the public the first look at “Sobrevivir,” an art installation by Cambodian-American artist Phung Huynh of Los Angeles in the works since 2018, ever since the county Board of Supervisors issued a motion containing an apology.
A story which is now being unboxed. Phung Hyunh is a Cambodian-American artist who came to America as a refugee. In her exhibit, "Doughnut (W)hole," at Self Help Graphics & Art in Los Angeles, she uses a pink doughnut box instead of a white canvas to capture a taste of the Cambodian-American refugee experience.
Huynh hopes to uplift doughnut kids by centering their stories and experiences in her latest work. While history can benefit from a variety of perspectives, Huynh says that it can be problematic when those who exist only on the periphery are the sole authors of the past. “I really am against the whole American dream narrative — ‘Look at these Asians, they come here and they pull themselves up by their bootstraps, and they’re successful’ — because it demonizes purposely Black and brown folks. It also masks the extreme trauma that our parents faced and experienced, and how that trauma is passed down,” she says.
Huynh, a bubbly 44-year-old with black bangs sweeping across her face, created these portraits first by drawing her subjects in a style reminiscent of Pop Art, then silkscreening them, along with vintage family photographs, onto the pink cardboard donut boxes that have become emblematic of donut shops run by Cambodian-Americans. "These donut shops represent a cultural space where refugees and immigrants reshape their lives in the process of negotiating, assimilating and becoming American," Huynh writes.
"Donut (W)hole" expands on Huynh's earlier body of work portraying first-generation Khmericans on pink doughnut boxes using graphite pencil. A refugee herself, Huynh could relate to many of her subjects' experiences of hard work and persistence. Huynh's father fled the Cambodian genocide and eventually relocated to the United States from Vietnam with his family, but not before spending some time in a Thai refugee camp.