Phung Huynh is a Los Angeles-based artist and educator whose practice is primarily in drawing and painting. Her most current work probes the questions of cultural perception and authenticity through images of the Asian female body vis-à- vis plastic surgery. Huynh is interested in how contemporary cosmetic surgery has created obscurity in racial identity and amplified the exoticism and Orientalist eroticism of Asian women. Phung Huynh is represented by CB1 Gallery in Los Angeles and has had solo exhibitions at Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills and the Sweeney Art Gallery at the University of California, Riverside. Her paintings and drawings have been exhibited nationally and internationally in countries such as Germany and Cambodia. She has also completed public art commissions for the Metro Orange Line, Metro Silver Line, and the Los Angeles Zoo. Phung Huynh is Associate Professor of Art at Los Angeles Valley College and Chair of the Community-Based Art/ Prison Arts Collective Advisory Council, which advises a vital program of California State University San Bernardino that provides art courses and workshops to underserved communities and prisons. She completed undergraduate coursework at the University of Southern California, received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with distinction from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, and received her Master of Fine Arts degree from New York University.
" My work takes on a variety of forms, as installation, sculpture and drawing. Some of the pieces I make are created to exist in site-specific locations, which reveal a critical relationship between object and place. These nuanced relationships appear in the architectural forms where I live which find their way into my work, from the abandoned buildings in Detroit to the residential wrought iron gates of Los Angeles. Recently, I have begun to work on drawings of gate patterns found in San Diego County and beyond. I think of myself as an urban scavenger, searching for interesting patterns and architectural clues that can influence my surroundings and find deeper connections with where I live.
I am also interested in discovering an additional layer of meaning through metaphorical and antithetical implications in architectural structures. For example, the gate acts as a boundary or barrier while also representing security, peace, fear and isolation. I have been photographing residential front gates found in my Los Angeles neighborhood and transforming the images into life-size, hand cut paper and water-jet cut metal replicas. The forms are then piled on top of each other on the floor and walls, which then create a three-dimensional abstraction of pattern, line, shape and mass, constructing a new perspective on the residential landscape.
My process is direct to begin with and very physical and personal. I research subject matter through photography, and then draw, replicate, cut, bend, attach and rearrange what I have found using water jet cut metal, hand-cut paper and hand cut foil on paper. The fragility of paper used to represent a chain link or steel gate is important, as well as the rigidity of metal that is then folded, curled and bent into organic and billowy forms. Similarly, paper is thin, delicate, and versatile and has an inherent intimacy. We all have established relationships with paper, whether through drawing, printing, cutting, pasting or writing. Metal, on the other hand, has a distinct association with heaviness, reliability and structural integrity that is challenged through cutting and manipulation.
My trajectory continues to focus is on permanence as fiction. The paper and metal forms serve as monuments to fragility and impermanence, while change, instability, prospect and emptiness flourish in our urban landscape". - Margaret Griffith
Laura Krifka is an Adjunct Faculty member at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and lives in Ventura CA.
Laura Krifka makes paintings that dissect the way power and identity are constructed in visual culture. She is interested in how the language of art history has blended with film and photography, dissolving distinctions between high and low and making visual factuality tenuous. Compositions are collapsed down to flat spaces, and single figures assert their gaze out of environments constructed with patterned wallpaper and fabrics. There is a sense of privacy and intimacy in their surroundings, but these spaces are anonymous in nature, like a found photo in a gutter that reveals too much and also not enough to be truly informative. By limiting the amount of information in each painting Krifka hopes to create a precarious point of departure for the viewer. Our own gaze becomes a major component in reading each piece, drawing attention to our own personal systems of coding. Laura Krifka received her MFA from UC Santa Barbara in 2010 and her BFA from California Polytechnic University San Luis Obisbo in 2008, following earlier studies at Newbold College in England and Avondale College in Australia. She has shown at L.A. Louver’s Rogue Wave Program, Torrance Museum of Art, Westmont Museum of Art as well as Seven and Untitled in Miami, and Vast Space Projects in Las Vegas NV. She has had solo shows in Los Angeles and New York City and is represented by BravinLee Programs in New York.