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; 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 Professor of Art at Los Angeles Valley College 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.