CB1 Gallery presents Pretty Hurts by Phung Huynh and Of Our Time by Osvaldo Trujillo
Phung Huynh – Pretty Hurts
Artist Reception: Saturday, April 15, 2017, 4 – 7 p.m.
CB1 Gallery is pleased to present our first solo exhibition of the work of LA-based artist Phung Huynh: Pretty Hurts. Huynh’s current work probes questions of cultural perception and cultural authenticity through images of the Asian female body vis-à-vis plastic surgery.
Huynh’s exhibition Pretty Hurts references Chinese foot-binding as one of the earliest forms of cosmetic surgery to contrast the antiquated canon of Asian feminine beauty (small feet, small eyes, a broad forehead, and small breasts) with the current trends of body image influenced by western canons that call for larger eyes, a delicate forehead, a taller nose, and larger breasts. She is interested in how contemporary plastic surgery on Asian women has not only obscured racial identity, but how it has also amplified the exoticism and Orientalist eroticism of Asian women. Therefore, the awkward synthesis of her projects of traditional and non-traditional, of east and west, unravel ideas of cultural representations and stereotypes to challenge how we consume and interpret ethnographic signifiers.
Phung Huynh’s work investigates notions of cultural identity from a kaleidoscopic perspective, a continual shift of idiosyncratic translations. She explores how “outside” cultural ideas are imported, disassembled, and then reconstructed, within the American landscape. Dismantling cultural authenticity, she paints images of Chinese cherubs, lotus, carp and silk textile designs with a “pop” veneer that collide in a complicated composition of delight and horror to challenge the viewer with a western-leaning perspective, as well as the viewer with a nonwestern-leaning perspective.
In an overwhelmingly diverse metropolis such as Los Angeles, images flood our social lens through mass reproduction and social media, taking on multiple [mis]interpretations. Such reflections have guided Huynh in re-stitching traditional Chinese iconography within the loosely woven fabric of American popular culture. There is a purposeful “Chinatown” aesthetic in Huynh’s paintings, alluding to kitsch souvenirs that tourists purchase and commoditization of eastern icons into tchotchkes.
Phung Huynh has had solo exhibitions at Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills and the Sweeney Art Gallery at the University of California, Riverside and the Sam Lee Gallery in LA. 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. Huynh is Associate Professor of Art at Los Angeles Valley College. She completed undergraduate coursework at the University of Southern California, received her BFA from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, and her MFA from New York University.
Osvaldo Trujillo – Of Our Time
For his third solo exhibition at CB1 Gallery, we are pleased to present Of Our Time, Osvaldo Trujillo’s exhibition of painted and laser cut acrylic. This exhibition marks at once a new direction in Trujillo’s work and a return to a medium he has used in the past, integrating technology into his practice. As in his late 90’s through the early 2000’s work, the computer is a prime tool in his art-making process but the new work also uses digital processes along with the use of the laser cutter. The exhibition will be on view from April 15 through May 27, 2017. The gallery will host a reception for the artist on Saturday, April 15 from 4 – 7 p.m.
The questions Trujillo asks in his new body of work include: What happens when machines can do most physical tasks better than any human could? Will we soon need to deal with questions like this in many areas of our lives? The issues and problems are extremely complex and the processes for resolving them are more than likely not peaceful. Reflecting this in the work for his exhibition, the pieces reference concepts on a macro scale, the topography of cities, the intricate connections of global computer networks, the complex structure of digital viruses. They reflect a new era, a new era of chaos.
Mesmerized by the laser cutter when he first saw it at work, Trujillo knew it was something he wanted to explore and make art with. It quietly and smoothly moved across the work surface cutting and engraving with a speed and precision that the greatest human craftsman could never attain with a lifetime of practice. The artist realized that this device, along with other technologies like 3D printing, robotics etc. had reached a price point where they are now affordable to a mass consumer-market, represented the beginning of a new era of technological production that will rival the industrial revolution in its ability to transform our lives and this planet. While he was elated about this idea and the wonders we will create, the more he contemplated this the more he dreaded the monsters it would bring.
Osvaldo Trujillo is a visual artist and professor, based in Los Angeles. In addition to past exhibitions at CB1 Gallery, his work has been shown at POST Gallery, Peggy Phelps Gallery, Art FrankFurt, Germany. He is currently represented by CB1 Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. Trujillo graduated with an MFA from Claremont Graduate University, Los Angeles and teaches at at USC.
Show Runs Through: April 15 – May 27, 2017