Jerry Phung

Jerry Phung

Helping others achieve harmony of the mind, body and spirit has been my life’s mission. In today’s the fast-paced world, it’s easy to find ourselves bombarded with the demands of life—whether it’d be from stress at work or discontent with one’s personal life. With so many things to worry about and people to please, it’s easy to forget about our health and inner well-being. Yet we keep going, ignoring signs that our body is sending to us that it may be imbalanced, i.e. stiff neck, tight shoulders, sore lower back, etc. Emotionally, we sometimes feel anxious and get stressed out. As a result, our inner spirit is not in a state of relaxation and calm. That’s where I come in—I help others find contentment in life.

To help people achieve a state of inner peace, I create art that is symbolic and which reminds us of the more important things in life, such as focusing on our health and family as opposed to devoting our time to negative thoughts or materialistic pursuits. Although I can improve their physical well-being through acupressure, my hope is that you will be able to use my art to achieve inner peace and happiness by customizing its meaning to fit your situation.

Another reason why I hope to utilize art to helping others find spiritual peace is to can heal more people. In recent years, I have observed that more and more people are suffering physically and emotionally because they are bogged down by the demands of life. They go through the motions of life every day without realizing what’s really important to them. My hope is that my paintings will allow me to reach a broad group of people by helping them realize what they should truly cherish in life.


Jerry Phung and his family were originally from the provinces of Guangdong, China and Heshan, China. Contrary to his ancestry Jerry grew up in a small village in Vietnam named Annan. When he was seven years old, he followed his uncle to study medicine and art. In primary and secondary school, he often received praise and awards from his teacher. Unfortunately in June of 1968, the North Vietnamese invaded and Annan was affected by the war. Life became difficult. It was not uncommon to hear that people’s relatives and friends had been killed or wounded during the war as innocent bystanders. Young people were forced to move away from their homes and find a new secure life. Guns continued to fire day after day for 10 years. There was no sign of the end. As life grew increasingly bitter, in October 1978, Jerry decided to embark on the journey towards survival by following the body of refugees. His life completely changed as he fled his home.

He used his personal ties and exhausted all his money to board a vessel to leave the war zone of Vietnam. On his journey to salvation, he encountered rough seas and horrid conditions. Overburdened by the plethora of refugees escaping the hostilities, the ancient fishing boat sank. All three hundred and fifty five people were poured into the frigid merciless waters of the Pacific. Only one hundred forty eight people are known to have survived from that catastrophe. The rest drifted away or had become unintentionally buried at sea. He will be forever grateful to the Thai fishermen who rescued them and transferred them to refugee camps on an unknown island in southern Thailand. While in the camps, they lived a simple life. Trying to muddle through the pain of losing their loved ones, the refugees often practiced calligraphy on the beach, painted, and prayed for their family and friends. In the camp many of the Vietnamese fugitives suffered from lack of acclimatization and depression resulting in pains and illnesses. The camp doctors had a shortage of medicine and help. During their desperate time of need they asked for Jerry’s help. On the barren island lacking suitable medicinal herbs, the doctors ignored all medical laws giving Jerry the training and practice to help those in need. After eight months in the nominal camp, the refugees were finally able to contact someone that was able to host them, the United States of America.

In July 1979, Jerry successfully arrived in the Los Angeles where he had a fresh start at life and needed to start from scratch. After facing death and war, the new environment had him feeling optimistic. He accepted reality and begin to work hard with a positive attitude. His relationships with supervisors and bosses allowed him to learn English while forming strong friendships.

As the years the passed, Jerry continued to specialize in medicine and painting. Through the influence of a number of great teachers, he decided to give up his restaurant businesses and focus on his art. Creating energy through works of art has become his soul desire for many years. He occasionally incorporates ideas he received from yoga and meditation. His experiences and way of life have brought about much inspiration.


Brewery Art Walk - Spring 2013