Christina Huynh is a muralist and illustrator based in Western Sydney who paints under 'STYNA'. Her art practice explores muralism, illustration and picture books from watercolour, ink and pen to aerosol and acrylic. Christina creates stories in her work that express her everyday thought, experience and memory. She finds inspiration in storytelling, human emotion, wayfaring and the heritage of people and place.
Christina has a Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication from Western Sydney University. In 2013, she won RawSydney's ‘Visual Artist of The Year’ with prizes, including painting a mural on the side of Eat Art Truck and an exhibition titled 'A Fragile Kingdom' at the m2 gallery in Surry Hills, which marked her first solo exhibition.
In 2016, Christina travelled to Europe for art residency at La Porte Peinte International Arts centre in Noyers, France. In Europe, she attended the Pictoplasma Conference in Berlin, which further sparked a love of illustration and character design. In 2017, Christina was approached by the National Library of Australia to create the drawings for Grandma's Treasured Shoes by Coral Vass. The book was published in 2019.
In 2018, Christina was granted the Dale Parade Mural Project with Canterbury Bankstown Council, her first public art project. This year also saw her reach the milestone of becoming a full-time muralist and illustrator. Today, Christina works within local councils and schools, focusing on art-for-purpose, place-based projects and collaborations. Her most recent works include an invitation to work as one of eighteen commissioned artists as part of the Canal to Creek Public Art Program by Cultural Capital for WestConnex Transurban and the mural entitled Unfolding for the new Western Sydney University Bankstown campus.
Finding Light in the Shadow (202) is a piece created for Brisbane Street Art Festival which currently resides at Studio 188 in Ipswich, Queensland. The work explores the balance between lightness and the dark, and how one cannot exist without the other. In life, we often negate from the things that make us feel uncertain, discomfort or at risk. Still, by embracing our vulnerabilities, we experience growth, moments that take us by surprise, while nurturing and practising the act of courage (whom my hero, Maya Angelou says is the most essential virtue of them all).
Grandma’s Treasured Shoes (2019), is a picture book, written by Coral Vass and illustrated by Christina Huynh. It is published by the National Library of Australia. It features a grandmother's journey from Vietnam to Australia as a little girl. This sensitively told story encourages children to understand the plight felt by refugees, in the past and today, and to appreciate the contribution that refugees have made in shaping this nation.
Things Seen, Things Remembered - 2.4m x 2.4 triptych-2019
Things Seen, Things Remembered (2019), is a triptych mural inspired by everyday scenes, experiences and the vast Chinese-Vietnamese Australian heritage of my family. This work was created for George’s River Council and Hurstville Museum and Gallery’s Chinese Lunar New Year festival in 2019.
Metamorphosis (2021) resides within the community hub at Westmead Public School. Before creating the work, we hosted a workshop with a group of mothers who spoke about what the hub meant to each of them as they drew a study of flowers that made up the foreground elements of this mural. They described the hub as a place of togetherness, support and a place to share knowledge and skills. One mother shared the experience of coming to the hub like the metamorphosis of a butterfly. One comes into a new space, initially apprehensive or uncertain, discovers support and a safe environment and eventually when it's time to leave, do so with independence, skills and newfound friendships.
Unfolding (2021), commissioned by Walker Group for the new Western Sydney University Bankstown campus, is a 50m mural that depicts a stack of books that gradually unfold into scenes of everyday life. There are seniors and chess enthusiasts that assemble for the love of the game, the honest day's work of a nearby grocer, or a boy who works at the local florist while studying part-time. Scenes from the marketplaces in Little Saigon are prominent. A lively and buzzing marketplace is a good symbol of where backgrounds and ethnicities of diverse cultures come together, meet and flourish. The overarching, mature trees along the Olympic Parade and the Kauri pines in Paul Keating park show an appreciation for the existing flora throughout Bankstown. The giant stack of books reoccurring throughout the hoarding is a light-hearted play on the future Western Sydney University Bankstown building architecture. At its essence, 'Unfolding' is inspired by the everyday people of Bankstown and the greater Canterbury region.