Hung Liu, ‘Unknown Woman’, 2008, 10 Chancery Lane Gallery

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 By combining these figures with classically rendered birds, flowers, and calligraphy, Liu mixes ancient and modern historical references, capturing the overlapping time periods out of which history itself is made.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