Winter 2016-17
Hung Liu Studio Newsletter
New Years Edition!

Exhibitions, Upcoming Exhibitions, Gigs,  Friends, Press, & Publications

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Welcome to the Hung Liu Studio newsletter for the winter of 2016-17. While the "Scales of History" show at the Fresno Art Museum has been extended through April 28, 2017, Hung is not showing elsewhere at present. So, in the spirit of the new year, we are focusing on recent gigs, lectures, social gatherings and studio visits. 

Also, please accept this newsletter, number 15, as our heartfelt new years greeting! May luck and good fortune be with us this next four years ...



Scales of History
Fresno Art Museum
Exhibition extended to  April 28, 2017

Peeking Opera, 1989, oil on canvas, 72 x 104.

My Secret Freedom 8, 1972-75, oil on paper, 5 x 7.        My Secret Freedom 18, 1972-75, oil on paper, 4 x 6.

Hua Gang (Flower Ridge), 2005, oil on canvas, 66 x 132.

My Secret Freedom 12, 1972-75, oil on paper, 5 x 7.

My Secret Freedom 14, 1972-75, oil on paper, 5 x 7.

Upcoming Exhibitions

Rena Bransten Gallery
Opening April 27, 2017
New paintings based on photographs by Dorothea Lange ... 

Fetching Water I, 2016, oil on canvas, 80 x 80.

Fetching Water III , 2016, oil on canvas, 80 x 80.

American Dream , 2016, oil on canvas, 60 x 72.



Paulson Bott (Fontaine) Press 
Celebrating 20 Years 
The De Young Museum, July 16 - October 23, 2016
Hung Liu and Chris Brown in a Panel Discussion with Pam Paulson and Renee Bott November 30, 2016

Hung Liu, Pam Paulson, Chris Brown, and Renee Bott at the De Young Museum

Passport 2016: Chinatown
October 23, Chinatown, San Francisco

For the eighth year, San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) Galleries' held its annual  Passport event. SFAC Galleries invited San Franciscans to purchase a "passport" to be stamped by seventeen established and emerging artists from the San Francisco Bay Area. Each artist had their own designated location in San Francisco's Chinatown where participants could meet the artist and receive a customized stamp. Hung Liu stamped participants' passports at the Chinese Cultural Center in Chinatown.

Hung's stamp.


Chinatown Rat

Don't miss it!

Making Our Mark: Celebrating 80 Years
A Conversation Between Hung Liu and Michael Hall
Richmond Art Center
November 5, 2016 
T he exhibition Making Our Mark gathered influential artists, thinkers, and educators in a series of informal roundtable conversations at the Richmond Art  Center. Hung and Michael's conversation was moderated by gallery director Jan Wurm.



With Michael Hall, newly appointed Professor of Art at California State University, East Bay.


Studio Visits

Sandra Ono, Karin Oen, Margo Machida, Nichole Fien, Jay Xu, Jennifer Xu, Jeff,  & Freddy Chandra.

Freddy & Nicole.

With Jay & Jennifer

With Margo Machida

With Karin Oen

With Shanghai artist Liu Jianhua

With Sandra Ono's class from Mills College

With Standford Painting teacher Yvette Deas and her students.

Laura & David Mohr

Out and About

With John Mason in his Los Angeles studio

With Jan Holmgren

After signing Sarah Lee's passport ...

With girls from Girl's Inc, Oakland - Alameda

With City Councilmember Lynette McElhaney and Mayor Libby Shaff at the Oakland Museum of California Ziggurat Fundraiser. 

With Kathryn Reasoner, Stephen Whistler and Sabine Reckewell in Oakland

At the Trillum Graphics "Pop-Up" show with the Trillium crew

At the Trillium show with Diane, Freddy, Wanxin, Xiaoze and Daxue.

With Leah Garchik at Trillium Graphics

With Cissie Swig at Trillium Graphics

With childhood friend Chen Bing at Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving with Bing, Wanxin, and Diane



Diego Rocha, assistant to Jeff & Hung since 2011, will depart for Mozambique in April of this year. He has been accepted into the Peace Corps, and will be abroad for two years. We are proud of him!



Bancroft's Post-Holiday Greetings

Recent Press for Hung Liu

Huffington Post

"Although some may interpret this work's focus on the American Dust Bowl migration a departure from previous work because the subjects are not Chinese, Liu insists that this new work is not a pivot, but a natural extension of her previous work."

Fresno Bee

"One of the great things about her new Fresno exhibition is the way you can flit back and forth between her earlier days as a student - absorbing the furtive freshness and raw vitality of a rural Beijing - with some of her much more politically pointed works.  One of the biggest and most impressive, titled "Modern Time," is based on a banal photograph of a woman daydreaming in a conference room. On the wall behind her are four photographs that used to be found on the walls of schools and public buildings across China: the "four white guys" who helped birth the communist ideology. But Liu offers a subversive twist. She depicts Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin in the style of Van Gogh, giving a post-Impressionist hint of snark to the scene."

Read more here:

Read more here:

Huffington Post

"A recent visit to the Palm Springs Museum affirms for me that all artists are immigrants. If not in a literal sense then in a figurative sense, they are strangers to the society surrounding them. In the desert resort city, populated by celebrities in steel houses, the local museum is exceptional. At the moment, it has exhibits by both Ai Wei Wei, the Chinese dissident renowned the world over, as well as Hung Liu, a professor of painting from China who has become a citizen of America."

Washington Post

"The centerpiece of that show, Hung Liu's "Daughter of China, Resident Alien," is a pile of some 200,000 fortune  cookies atop tracks that evoke the role of Chinese labor in building American railways. In a large painting based on the artist's green card, she takes the name "Cookie, Fortune." Many of Liu's paintings are derived from photos or propaganda-film stills and dissolve realism into abstraction to represent the evaporation of Marxist-Leninist China and her memories of it."

UCSD Visual Arts Department link:

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



Publications ( Hot off the Press)

Hung Liu: American Exodus
Introduction by Lori Fogarty
Essays by John Yau & Drew Johnson
Interview by Rachelle Reichert
Nancy Hoffman Gallery/Hung Liu Studio, 2016
Catalogues available

Hung Liu: Scales of History
Essay by Jeff Kelley
Fresno Art Museum/Hung Liu Studio, 2016
Catalogues available

Hung Liu: Daughter of China, Resident Alien
Essay by David Pagel; Conversation between Peter Selz & Jeff Kelley
American University Museum, Katzen Center, Washington DC/Hung Liu Studio, 2016
Catalogues available

(Warm off the Press)

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

Chinese Contemporary Art
Wu Hung
Thames & Hudson

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, 2012

Hung Liu: Great Granary
Essays and Interview by Wu Hung
216 pages, Timezone 8 Press, Beijing, 2008


Thank You!
Hung Liu Studio