Hung Liu, ‘The Unknown V Study’, 2016, Headlands Center for the Arts: Benefit Auction 2017

Please note: After bidding closes on Artsy, bids on this piece will be transferred and executed at the live auction component of the Headlands Center for the Arts benefit auction on the evening of June 7, 2017.

Outside of edition.

Hung Liu was born in Changchun, China in 1948. Initially trained in the Socialist Realist style, Liu studied mural painting at the Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing, before immigrating to the United States in 1984 to attend the University of California, San Diego, where she studied under Allan Kaprow. Known for paintings based on historical Chinese photographs, Hung Liu’s subjects over the years have been prostitutes, refugees, soldiers, laborers, and prisoners. Liu is a two-time recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in painting. The Wall Street Journal called Liu “the greatest Chinese painter in the United States.” Liu’s works have been collected by SFMOMA; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco; among others. Liu lives in Oakland. She is Professor Emerita at Mills College.

–Courtesy of Headlands Center for the Arts

Image rights: Courtesy of the artist and Trillium Graphics

About Hung Liu

Bringing a deeply felt sense of the past to her paintings, prints, and installations, Hung Liu combines ancient and modern motifs from Chinese history to demonstrate her experience of history every day as an active, affecting presence. As she explains: “I have been painting in America since 1984, but Chinese history has always been the essence of my work.” Growing up in Communist China, Liu was trained in Socialist Realism. Her early works comprise black-and-white photographs of village life and paintings of landscapes and village scenes. Liu derives the subjects of her more recent paintings—including goddesses, heroines, and children—from historical photographs of China and its people. By combining these figures with classically rendered birds, flowers, and calligraphy, Liu mixes ancient and modern historical references, capturing the overlapping time periods out of which history itself is made.

Chinese-American, b. 1948, Changchun, China, based in Oakland, California