Hung Liu Studio












May 2012
Hung Liu Studio Newsletter

Exhibitions, Friends, Studio Teaser, Girls Incorporated, Books 

Photo: Tom Strykowicz

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Welcome to the Spring 2012 Hung Liu Studio Newsletter. It features the artist's current exhibition at Di Rosa in Napa of new, large-scale mixed media and resin works produced at Trillium Graphics, and Hung's show from late 2011 at Walter Maciel Gallery in Culver City. As well, the newsletter includes pictures from a fundraising gala in which Hung was given an award by Girls Incorporated, an Alameda County nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire girls to be "strong, smart, and bold." As always, there are visitors to the studio and sojourns out. We also offer a few images of a newly developing body of paintings derived not from historical photographs, but from patriotic stories in Chinese "picture books," or xiaorenshu, from Hung's childhood. 

 Hung Liu Painting, 2012


Cycles: New Works by Hung Liu
Di Rosa, Napa, California
March 3 - June 10, 2012


Emnity 2012 
Currently showing at Di Rosa in the heart of California's wine country, Hung's latest exhibition features ambitious new mixed-media and resin pieces created at Trillium Graphics. Long, horizontal compositions, they are a glistening synthesis of traditional Chinese landscape paintings and stage designs for Cultural Revolutionary opera (now there's a contradiction in terms!). The works in this exhibit date from the past several years, including many not previously exhibited or seen in the Bay Area.



Kathryn, David, Jan @ Di Rosa
Kathryn Reasoner, Davis Salgado, and Janet Holmgren at Di Rosa

Dawn Blossoms Plucked at Dusk

Walter Maciel Gallery, LA

Oct 29 - Dec 22, 2011



Hi-Ho (Aiyou Hou), 2011, oil in canvas, 80 x 80 inches


Hung Liu seems to be parodying the spate of recent Pop-art-esque Chinese painters in her own latest paintings. Their various tropes recur, though much more naturalistically rendered, in Liu's own pictures: grinning kids, family groups, Mao-era kitsch, Mao suits, Mao himself, and so forth. But Liu has no critique of her fellow artists in mind; the images she paints with her broad, wet, staggeringly articulate brush were originally photographs she took in and around the village(s) she inhabited as an adolescent during the Cultural Revolution. In other words, Bay Area-based Liu draws upon exactly what her co-generationalists working in Beijing work from, their experience as so many tiny cogs in a massive, brutal experiment. They all know now how lucky they are to be alive. But this was their childhood, so they regard it with as much nostalgia as horror or regret. The Chinese Pop painters distance themselves from such tumultuous feelings, making a big show of their irony; Liu, on the other hand, embodies the complexity of such fraught recollections in her rich, virtuosic technique - and also in the disarmingly pleasant attitudes projected by her subjects, as well as gentling motifs (flowers, butterflies) she adds almost as iconographic band-aids to reassure viewers and comfort her subjects. Liu knows she is producing layered pictures, and she paints - and adds layers - accordingly.


- Peter Frank, Huffington Post


Band of Brothers
Band of Brothers, 2011, oil on canvas, 80 x 120 inches


During the Cultural Revolution, a friend gave Liu a camera for safe keeping and she began to photograph local farmers and their families, as well as scenes from the village in which she labored. Her new paintings are based on these images and rendered in her signature painterly style with areas of heavily applied pigment and thin washes. The use of her personal photography distinguishes this series from other bodies of work that have mostly been informed by found and often historical photographs.




Village Photograph 10
Hung Liu & friend painting in the Chinese countryside during the Cultural Revolution, circa 1972




Dave Hickey & Libby Lumpkin
With Dave Hickey & Libby Lumpkin in Albuquerque

Hung, Martin, & Wendy
With Martin & Wendy Mull in Culver City

With Liu Xiaodong in Oakland

With Coryl Crane
With Coryl Crane Kaprow in Culver City


Studio Teaser
Paintings in Process ...

Hung Painting II 2012

Hung Painting 2012 III

Girl's Incorporated
Strong, Smart, & Bold Awards for 2012

Girl's Inc Speech

2012 Award Honorees include:

Hung Liu, artist, whose unconquerable spirit and hard won feminism as a daughter of China's Cultural Revolution serves as the basis for her STRONG works depicting commonplace people lost in the sweep of Chinese history.

Jennifer Siebel Newsom, filmmaker and actress, whose film production company, Girls Club Entertainment, LLC, develops SMART independent films primarily focused on empowering women.

Lalita Tademy, author, whose best-selling novel Cane River focuses on her family and four generations of BOLD Creole women and the injustices they fought to create a legacy for their offspring. 



Girl's Inc w/ Cissie

Hung Liu & Cissie Swig at Girl's Inc Awards Luncheon in Oakland




Two Magazines



American Art: Smithsonian American Art Museum

an interview with Hung Liu by Joann Moser

American Art



Leap: The International Art Magazine of Contemporary China

a visual history and commentary by Phil Tinari




Two Books


Contemporary Chinese Art:

Primary Documents

edited by Wu Hung


Contemporary Chinese Art


This MOMA publication brings together, translates, and contextualizes primary documents that are pertinent to a deeper understanding of recent artistic practice in China, but which were not previously available in the English language. Hung Liu is featured in the text.





Hung Liu: Great Granary

(Tai Cang  太倉)

Wu Hung

essays by Xu Bing, Sui Jianguo, Yu Hong, Liu Xiaodong, Li Songsong, & Wei Lin


Xin Beijing Art Gallery, Beijing 

Timezone 8, Beijing



Great Granary 




Books available at Timezone 8 and


Hung Liu Studio

Thank You!
Hung Liu Studio