Hung Liu Studio












December 2012
Hung Liu Studio Newsletter

Happy & Gay, Upcoming Bay Area Exhibitions, Travels, Friends, Studio Teaser, Publications


No Painting

Quick Links


Hung Liu Studio  



Join Our Mailing List

Welcome to the End-of-Year 2012 Hung Liu Studio Newsletter. It features Hung's current exhibition at the Rena Bransten Gallery in San Francisco, "Happy & Gay." A list of three major Bay Area museum exhibitions is also provided. Hung traveled to China in October, and gave a lecture at the UCLA Hammer Museum about Alison Klayman's new documentary on Ai Weiwei, "Never Sorry." A recent essay appears in Feminist Studies by Rebecca Jennison - well researched and clearly written. Links for other books may be found as well.


Enjoy the newsletter!



Happy & Gay
Rena Bransten Gallery
San Francisco
November 15, 2012 - January 12, 2013


Artforum Add

Hung's new body of paintings are based on the patriotic stories in Chinese picture books, or xiaorenshu, from her childhood. Like little graphic novellas, the picture books tell patriotic stories of heroic figures and deeds, but their official realism is tempered by the individual styles of artists who, though in the service of the state during the Maoist era, were once trained in traditional Chinese art. Like Dick & Jane primers for American children during the 1950s, the images of Chinese workers, peasants, and soldiers building a better nation are tender lessons in totalitarian socialization. Painted in Liu's dissoluble style, however, and in a brighter, more graphic palette, her new paintings become knowingly - but not merely - ironic. 




H&G Star Family
Happy & Gay: Star Family, 2012


H&G Father
Happy & Gay: Father, 2012


H&G Thanks Mom
Happy & Gay: Thanks Mom, 2012


Fortune Reader
Fortune Reader, 2012



Upcoming Bay Area Exhibitions



Hung Liu: Offerings

Mills College Art Museum

January 23 - March 17, 2013


Summoning Ghosts: the Art of Hung Liu

Oakland Museum of California

March 16 - June 30, 2013

catalogue available through OMCA and UC Press


Questions from the Sky: New Work by Hung Liu

San Jose Museum of Art

June 6 - September 8, 2013



Lecture: Never Sorry, Alison Klayman's acclaimed film about Ai Weiwei
Hammer Museum, UCLA
September 24 2012

Hammer AWW Talk
Skyping with Ai Weiwei
At the Rena Bransten Gallery Opening for Happy and Gay
November 15, 2012


Opening at Rena's 3
With the picture books
Leafing through the pages


HL with students
With Mills College students and Cissie Swig


Hung Liu's life experience, complex personal history, understanding of female identity, sensitivity to immigrant culture, and vigorous powers of expression have made her a one-of-a-kind artist. 
Ai Weiwei
November 2012

HL with Wei Wei
With Ai Weiwei in Beijing

HL white cat
With one of Ai Weiwei's cats

With Eric Fischl at the San Jose Museum of Art

With Amy Evans McClure and Michael McClure 

At the Vulcan Cafe with Michael Hall, Steuart Pittman, and Andy Witrak
     Explaining to Rena
Explaining the new paintings to the Rena Bransten crew.


Beijing, China - the 798 Arts District
October 2012

Beijing 4
Beijing 5
Beijing 3
Beijing 2
JK toilet 

The 798 Arts District in Bejiing, which began a dozen years ago as a place for artists to establish affordable studios, quickly became the Soho/Chelsea of China. Filled with galleries, cafes, studios, and anchored by the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, 798 is at the heart of the international pulse for the contemporary Chinese art scene.

Studio Teaser

New etchings from Paulson Bott Press ...

New Prints

 From the studio ...

Warm Off the Press



Feminist Studies

Painting Life Back into History:

Hung Liu's "Hard-Won" Feminist Art

by Rebecca Jennison  



Resident Alien 


That lives are made and unmade at the intersection of history and memory is a theme that guides Rebecca Jennison's "Painting Life Back into History-Hung Liu's 'Hard-Won' Feminist Art." In this passionate discussion of Chinese American artist Hung Liu's work, Jennison invites us to engage the complexities of this intersection. Drawing on in-depth interviews and a sixteen-year love of the artist's work, Jennison examines the prominence that the thematic concerns of history, identity, citizenship, and memory hold for Liu. Liu's own border crossings of national and political systems, coupled with her own fractured sense of belonging in both China and the United States, have all inspired many of her well- known pieces such as Resident Alien, Strange Fruit, and Where is Mao? For Jennison, Liu's art is emblematic of what it means to see "history as a verb"-a phrase that Liu uses to evoke history as a living artifact that "is always flowing forward." Sensitive to this dynamism in Liu's art, Jennison explores both the inter-temporality of Liu's work and the power of her creative voice to recraft history and memory. Jennison's discussion reveals an artist who demonstrates a profound commitment to ensuring that women's voices and memories will eventually comprise what we know as history.


Suzanne Raitt and Michelle Rowley, for the editorial collective 








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






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