For the Chinese-American artist Hung Liu diaspora and migration figure heavily in her five-decade career; through her creative practice, she creates a monumental portrait of China’s recent history—from the late feudal era to the age of revolutionary fervor, to the present moment of competing ideologies. Liu draws from her early years of training in the socialist realist style and personal experience; she takes historical photographs, then teases out the moments of conflict and compromise, the different layers of event that are enfolded inside them. Shuttling between individual and collective memories, Liu employs flowing brushstrokes on her canvases and ready-mades to construct a distinctive painterly rhetoric in her art. The exhibition is curated by Philip Tinari and Luan Shixuan.
About the ArtistHung Liu (b. 1948, Changchun, Jilin Province, lives and works in San Francisco) began studying at Beijing Normal University in 1972, and started graduate studies in mural painting at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 1979; in 1984, she enrolled in the University of California, San Diego, studying under Allan Kaprow. She is a two-time recipient of a Painting Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a Professor Emirita at Mills College. Her recent solo exhibitions include “Hung Liu: Scales of History” (Fresno Art Museum, California, 2017) and “Hung Liu: Offerings” (Mills College Art Museum, 2013). Her group exhibitions include “Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World” (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 2018); “I, You, We” (Whitney Museum of American Art, 2013); and “Half-life of a Dream: Contemporary Chinese Art from the Logan Collection” (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 2008).
Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, No. 4, 798 Art Zone, No. 4 Jiuxianqiao Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing | China
Hung Liu, ‘Modern Time’, 2005, oil on canvas, lacquered wood, alarm clocks, diptych, 167.64 x 4 26.7 cm, courtesy the artist