Angkor Wat Lakshmi Statue 2023
​print on poly sheer fabric, 8 x 3 feet, 2024

Cleveland Museum of Art Head of Lokeshvara 1995.47
​​graphite on paper, 41 x 33 inches, 2024

USC Pacific Asia Museum Avalokitesvara 1996.1.3   
graphite on paper, 41 x 33 inches, 2023

Angkor Wat Naga Buddha Statue with Jasmines 2023
​print on poly sheer fabric, 8 x 3 feet, 2024

Ganesha Returned 2023
​print on poly sheer fabric, 8 x 3 feet, 2024

Jayavarman VII 2023
​print on poly sheer fabric, 8 x 3 feet, 2024

Angkor Thom Guardian Statue 2023

​print on poly sheer fabric, 8 x 3 feet, 2024


Installation view of Return Home exhibition at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, June - August 2024

Angkor Wat Naga Buddha Statue 2023
​print on poly sheer fabric, 8 x 3 feet, 2024

Angkor Wat Buddha Statue With Naga Canopy 2023
​print on poly sheer fabric, 8 x 3 feet, 2024

LACMA Head of Buddha Shakyamuni M.84.147       

graphite on paper, 41 x 33 inches, 2023

MET Head of Buddha cat.no.48 Returned
​graphite on paper, 41 x 33 inches, 2023

The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco Head of a female deity B60S100
​graphite on paper, 41 x 33 inches, 2024

Cleveland Museum of Art Colossal Head of a Deva 2011.147

​graphite on paper, 41 x 33 inches, 2024

RETURN HOME  is an installation of ornately framed graphite drawings and photographic banners that seek to ritually unite fragments of sacred Khmer Buddha statue heads that were looted from Cambodia. The project examines Cambodian sculptures that memorialize the Golden Age of Khmer culture from the 9th to the 15th centuries, particularly the Buddha heads that are currently housed in American art museums and the remnants of the statues' bodies remaining in the temples of Cambodia. Phung Huynh initiates critical dialogues in the pressing matters of repatriation and provenance within the collections of American institutions.

Ta Prohm Naga Buddha Statue 2023
​print on poly sheer fabric, 8 x 3 feet, 2024

Angkor Wat Small Naga Buddha Statue 2023
​print on poly sheer fabric, 8 x 3 feet, 2024

My father is from Cambodia where the Khmer Empire (c. 802 – 1431) birthed magnificent temples that still stand today. The art of that period rests in the heart of Cambodian arts and culture. However, the carpet bombing of Cambodia during President Nixon’s administration and the American War in Vietnam opened the floodgates for the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s which eliminated 90% of artists and shattered the cultural landscape of Cambodia and those living in diaspora. Considering the profound impact of war, genocide, and American imperialism, my artwork is built on the desire to return home that focuses on the repatriation of ancestral art and heritage to Cambodia. The Buddha head as a decorative item, garden motif, candle, commodified object is pervasive and normalized which is rooted in this historical violence and the many Buddha statue heads on museum walls, pedestals, and in vaults. These heads were forcefully removed from their original bodies, stolen and illegally placed in museums and private collections outside their places of origin. As a daughter of a Cambodian father who survived war and genocide of the 1970s, I am well aware of how Cambodia became a vulnerable place for destruction and the theft of so many of our statues that are essentially vessels for our divine, ancestors, and cultural heritage.


-  Phung Huynh

Norton Simon Museum Head of Buddha F.1975.10.S

​graphite on paper, 41 x 33 inches, 2023

PHUNG HUYNH