Hung Liu Studio












Spring 2016
Hung Liu Studio Newsletter

Exhibitions, A Look Ahead, A Look Back, Gigs, China Art Tour, Friends & Colleagues, Press, Publications

Quick Links

Join Our Mailing List
Welcome to the Hung Liu Studio Newsletter, Spring, 2016.

This is a big newsletter, mostly because of pictures from the China Art Tour Hung & Jeff conducted for the trustees of the San Jose Museum of Art. Pay special attention to the upcoming exhibitions section (A Look Ahead) to see where Hung's works will be exhibited in the near future. 

As always, check out the website:

Meanwhile ...
 Go Warriors!


Minnesota Street Project Grand Opening
"These American Lives"
Rena  Bransten Gallery, "Dogpatch, " San Francisco, CA
March 18 - May 7, 2016

With Rena Bransten, in front of "Dirty Pink" 2015, at the grand opening of Rena's gallery at the Minnesota Street Project.

T he debut of the Minnesota Street Project in Dogpatch, San Francisco, an elegant umbrella space for galleries swept aside by the rising real estate prices of the recent tech boom, promises to reclaim the center of San Francisco's gallery world. Thanks to  entrepreneurs and collectors Deborah and Andy Rappaport for their vision of a dynamic and self sustaining enterprise!

New Museum Los Gatos
"More Than Your Selfie"
Los Gatos, CA
January 21 - May 15, 2016

Official Portraits: Citizen, 2006, lithograph (Shark's Ink, Lyons, Colorado)


Palo Alto Art Center
"Bird in the Hand"
Palo Alto, CA
January 16 - April 10, 2016

Fat Bird, 2006, oil on canvas, 80 x 80


Denver Art Museum
January 13 

I n this jointly sponsored lecture, Hung presented a brief survey of her art from over the last four decades, from China to the U.S., from Socialist Realism to her brand of Social Realism. Presented by the Denver Art
Museum (DAM) Contemporaries and the Asian Art department's lecture series, Curator's Circle, t his lecture was made possible with the generous support of Vicki and Kent Logan in affiliation with DAM Contemporaries.

Introduction by Jiao Tianlong , curator of Asian Art at the DAM

With Jiao Tianlong

"Fragmentary Narratives"
Stanford University, McMurtry Building
January 22

Organized by Stanford professor of art Xiaoze Xie, this symposium was an international collaboration between Stanford's Department of Art & Art History and institutions in China. Moderated by Dr. Britta Erickson, the panelists included curator Ji Shaofeng (Associate Director of Hubei Museum of Art), Jeff Kelley (art critic), Hung Liu (artist and professor Emerita at Mills College), Enrique Chagoya (Professor, Stanford Department of Art & Art History), Richard 
Winograd  (Christensen Fund Professor In Asian Art, Stanford Department of Art & Art History), and the renowned Chinese painter Yang Shaobin.

A Look Ahead

Gail Severn Gallery 
Ketchum, Idaho
Opening July 8, 2016

American Exodus
Nancy Hoffman Gallery
New York City
September 8 - October 22, 2016

Hung Liu: Daughter of China, Resident Alien
The  Katzen  Art Center at American University
Washington DC
September 6 - October 23, 2016

Hung Liu: The Scales of History*
The Fresno Art Museum 
Fresno, California
September 23 - January 8, 2017

*In conjunction with the 2016  Distinguished  Woman Artist Award

A Look Back

Resident Alien, 1988
The Capp Street Project
500 Capp Street, San Francisco, CA

Photos: Ben Blackwell

In 1988, Liu was invited to be a resident artist at the Capp Street Project in San Francisco. While there, she created a body of paintings concerned with the history of Chinese immigration to California, beginning with the Gold Rush in 1949 and continuing through her own "resident alien" status at the time. The subsequent exhibition of these works at the Monadnock Building on Market Street brought Liu her first significant art world attention, and established her as an artist whose subject was, in part, the fluid politics of identity - especially relating to immigration. With  gratitude  to Ann Hatch, founder of the Capp Street Project, for supporting this important residency so many years ago.


China Trip

China Art Tour with Trustees of the San Jose Museum of Art, March 22 - April 1 , 2016

In late March trustees from the San Jose Museum of Art went with Hung and Jeff on a tour of art institutions and artist studios in China. Beginning with Art Basel in Hong Kong, we went to Shanghai and then Beijing. The images below suggest a rough chronology of the tour. By all accounts, everyone found the experience to be meaningful and fun. Special thanks to Susan Crane, Lisa James, and Eli Hazlip of Bamboo Tours.

At SFO (International Gate 5A)

Hong Kong

Dreary Hong Kong - for Art Basel, Hong Kong

With Huang Rui, leader (in 1979) of the Stars Group in Beijing, and 
one of the founders of the 798 Art District

With Uli Sigg, Collector

Art Basel, with Urs Meile, of Urs Meile Gallery, Lucerne and Beijing

Art Basel, with Arne  Glimcher of Pace Gallery

Hong Kong Bay at Night



Long Museum, Shanghai (Olafur Eliasson exhibit)

Power Station of Art, Shanghai (Huang Yongping Exhibit)

Zhang Huan Studio, Shanghai
Q & A with Zhang Huan

Qiu Anxiong Studio, Shanghai

Liu Jianhua Studio, Shanghai


Sunny Beijing from the East Hotel

Li Song Song Studio, 798 Art District, Beijing

Pace Gallery, Song Dong Exhibit, 798 Art District, Beijing  

Qiu Zhijie Studio, Beijing

Zhang Xiaogang Studio, Beijing

Wang Gongxin Studio, Songzhuang Village, outskirts of Beijing

Lin Tianmiao Studio,  Songzhuang Village, outskirts of Beijing  


Yang Shaobin Studio, Songzhuang Village, outskirts of Beijing

Fang Lijun Studio, Songzhuang Village, outskirts of Beijing

Xiang Jing Studio, Songzhuang Village, outskirts of Beijing

Yu Hong Studio, 798 Art District, Beijing

Sui Jianguo (New)  Studio , outskirts of Beijing


Yue Minjun Studio, Songzhuang, outskirts of Beijing

Zhao Zhao at Chambers Fine Art, Caochangdi, Beijing

Central Academy of Fine Art (CAFA) Drawing & Sculpting Studios

Timezone 8 Cafe, 798 Art District, Beijing


Robert Bernell, owner

 Going Home ...

Friends & Colleagues

Oakland Museum of California Studio Visit - 
Dorothea Lange Archive
Talking about new paintings based on the photographs of Dorothea Lange

Drawings too ...

With Curator Drew Johnson and Director Lori Fogarty 

With Drew
With Susan Anderman    


Studio Group Visits
Director David Walker, Darcy Walker, Curator Joanne Northrup, and fellow board members
Studio visit with Director David Walker, Darcy Walker, Curator Joanne Northrup, 
and fellow board members from the Nevada Museum of Art, Reno

Valerie Corvin
With Valerie Corvin (to the right of Hung) and the SF MOMA Modern Art Council

Yang Shaobin, Chen Lihua, Ji Shaofeng, Xu Dague, Xie Xiaoze, Zeng Nizi, & Victor Xie
With (L-R) Yang Shaobin, Chen Lihua, Anthony Xie, Ji Shaofeng, 
Xu Daxue, and Xie Xiaoze

BFA students from Sonoma State, and Prof Michael Schwager
Professors Mark Perlman and Michael Schwager with BFA students 
from Sonoma State University

painting class at Mills College
With Professor Yulia Pinkusevich and her painting class from Mills College

Adv. Painting Class at Mills College
With Sandra Ono's Advanced Painting Class at Mills College

Studio Visits
With Tyler Atkinson and James McManus

With Sandy & Steve Wolf, and Sig & Susan Anderman

Director of NPG, Smithsonian Institute 012616
With Kim Sajet, Director of the National Portrait Gallery (NPG), 
Smithsonian Institute

curator at NPG 012816
With Dorthy Moss, Curator at

With Qiu Zhijie and Lulu

shooting for woman artist's portrait  
Kurt Fishback shooting in the studio

Kurt's photo of Hung

Baby Bancroft's First Night with Us ... (he found us in the studio parking lot)

With Emily Sano and Gilson Reiken

With Yulia  Pinkusevich

Rebecca Lee and Tim Yarish

Director Kim Sajet, Amy Parker, Director of Advancement & Strategic Planning Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery,
With Director Kim Sajet and Amy Parker, Director of Advancement & 
Strategic  Planning, National Portrait Gallery

Out & About

With Phil Tinari in Beijing

With  Roger & Joan Mann in San Francisco

With Jody Knowlton & Leah Levy

With  Diane & Doug Hall, and Jenny Baie near Minnesota Street Project

With Kara Maria & Enrique Chagoya

With Ji Shaofeng and Yang Shiabin at Stanford University

Chris Mao & Jean-Marc Decrop at Basel Hong Kong

With Bill Berkson

With Ann Hatch & Connie Lewallen

With Moira Roth (behind her, an Allan Kaprow watercolor from 1955)

With Doug & Sarah Brown from Santa Fe

With Barry McGee at David Ireland's House

With Era Farnsworth, Laura Bennett, Sara Brown, & Colleen Leung

With Mark Grotjahn at SF MOMA Opening

With Jenny Baie and Rena & Trish Bransten at BAMPFA Opening

With John McManus & Sara Wigh

With Deborah Rappaport in front of Hung's painting at the SF MOMA Opening

With Mark Perrin & Ann Baxter at the BAMPFA Opening

With Daniel Cornell, Curator at the Palm Springs Art Museum

With Marjorie & Cissy Swig at the BAMPFA Opening

With Xu Daxue, Xie Xiaoze, Hung, and Hou Hanru in Chinatown

With Steuart Pittman & Diego Rocha (brand new college graduate)

Recent Press for Hung Liu

Art & Antiques

Photography, the modern world's medium for memory par excellence, is the starting point for Liu's painting. Images painstakingly rendered from archival photos seem to float over backgrounds of abstract color fields and drips of paint. Hovering nearby are small images of flowers or other symbolic objects, as well as Liu's trademark colored circles, which she says refer to vortices of energy. - John Dorfman

Art News

Appearing at once ancient and freshly created, Liu's oil paintings here featured layers of pigment and brushstrokes that are occasionally as thick as toothpaste. Yet every work also contained verticals of thinned paint that appeared to drip off the bottoms of the canvases, leaving the poetic suggestion of a veil of tears. 
- David McClemont

Los Angeles Times 

Her new paintings are portraits of the most humble of flowers - dandelions - and they are spectacular. 

Kansas City Star
In "Summoning Ghosts" at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Chinese-born artist Hung Liu quite literally "summons ghosts,"  bringing  the dead and willfully forgotten into our view through large paintings based on 19th and 20th century photographs taken in China.
KQED Radio
Confined in China, Ai Weiwei Directs Alcatraz Exhibit from Afar (Hung Liu interviewed), Mina Kim, September 27, 2014.  "Painter Hung Liu is close friends with Ai. Liu grew up during China's Cultural Revolution under Mao Tse-Tung, and like Ai, China's politics and culture infuse her work. She is wary of political art becoming too didactic.  'When you have a strong political agenda, a strong message, you have to be careful if you want to use art form,' the painter says.  Liu says she plans to take a serious look at Ai's Alcatraz work, and hopes others will get past his superstar status and do the same.   'Ai Weiwei's super-famous. Some people call him God Ai -  Ai shen ,' Liu says. 'I think it's little too far.'  It's important for people to continue to think critically about Ai's work, Liu says - after all, people tried to make Mao a god, too." - Mina Kim

SF Chronicle
Many contemporary painters struggle to get history into their work without looking pretentious or ideologically motivated. But big events of the late 20th century weighed so heavily on the life of Oakland painter Hung Liu that she might have found it difficult to keep history out of her work. - Kenneth Baker

Square Cylinder

It's easy to marvel at how Liu's mix of abstraction and realism draw us into the past.  Yet virtuosity alone doesn't explain the emotional pull of her painting.  So I'll venture a theory: Since Liu works from photos, her painting process is analogous to the photochemical act of "fixing" an image in the darkroom from which pictures seemingly emerge out of nowhere. Liu performs a kind of psychic translation of that act, supplementing it with lived experience and an extraordinary level of empathy.  Result: she can paint from photos and literally "summon ghosts." - David Roth

KQED Radio
Hung Liu is good at summoning ghosts -- from memory and history. She's an Oakland artist born in China, and "Summoning Ghosts" is the title of a new retrospective of her work at the Oakland Museum of California. - Cy Musiker


Hung Liu is widely considered one of the most important Chinese artists working in America today. - Interview by Rachelle Reichert
Art Practical

The spare aesthetic of the exhibition currently on view at the Mills College Art Museum belies the fullness of the Bay Area artist and educator Hung Liu's major concern: history. - Ellen Tani
Art Practical
In February 1948, the artist Hung Liu was born in Changchun, in the far north of China. Only months later, the city was the site of a major siege by the People's Liberation Army. - Matthew Harrison Tedford
Contra Costa Times

She's internationally known for her dramatic paintings, which often layer historical images with scenes from her own life or those of everyday people who didn't make it into the history books. - Angela Hill

San Francisco Chronicle/SFgate

In the early 1970s, Hung Liu, who was being trained in the strict Social Realist style required of Chinese artists at the time, surreptitiously made small landscape paintings that contained no images of Chairman Mao, heroic soldiers or happy peasants. She hid them under her bed to dry. - Jesse Hamlin



Hot Off the Press ...

Please check out Hickey's essay, Hung Liu: The Polity of Immigrants

Hung Liu: Questions from the Sky
Ed Hardy, Susan Krane
Hahrdymarks Press, 2015 

Chinese Contemporary Art
Wu Hung
Thames & Hudson

... Warm Off the Press

Qianshan: Grandfather's Mountain
Interview by Rachelle Reichert
Nancy Hoffman Gallery, 2013

Summoning Ghosts: The Art of Hung Liu
Essays by Wu Hung, Yiyun Li, Rene De Guzman, Karen Smith, Stephanie Hanor, Bill Berkson
216 pages,  Oakland Museum of California & The University of California Press   



Hung Liu Studio

Thank You!
Hung Liu Studio