: Born 1948
, Changchun, China
: Lives in Oakland, CA
Hung Liu grew up in China and came of age during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. She spent four years in the countryside as a laborer, studied painting at the Central Academy of Art and in 1984 received permission to attend the University of California-San Diego where she earned an M.F.A.
Using anonymous historical photographs as the subject matter of her painting and prints, Liu reconstructs an unknown story. She embellishes the surfaces with lovely drawings of insects, flowers and birds, painterly drips and collage elements that create a veil of time and meaning over her subjects. "...between dissolving and preserving is the rich middle-ground where the meaning of an image is found... My paintings are metaphors for memory and history.”
In May of 2009, Liu found a baby deer lying dead on the road. She carefully placed its body in the back of her car and brought it to her studio, where she took photographs. Liu used these images as studies for works on paper and canvas, capturing the animal’s fragile, helpless form as its spirit drifted to a different plane of existence. From these photographs she also created a tripych of lithographs titled "Xiao Lu" (little or "baby" deer in Chinese).
Hung Liu has exhibited her work widely including the exhibition Hung Liu: A Ten Year Survey 1988-1998 that traveled to six US venues in 1998-2000. She has completed many public commissions and received many awards including the National Endowment for the Arts, and the International Art Critic's Award. She is an Associate Professor of Art at Mills College in Oakland.
Liu's work is in the collections of the Dallas Museum of Art, TX; the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO; the National Museum of American Art, Washington, DC; the San Jose Museum of Art, CA; the City University of New York; and the University of Arizona Art Museum, Tuscon among others.
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More information can be found at Hung Liu's website, www.kelliu.com.