CURRENT EXHIBITION:
November 3, 2017 – January 20, 2018

HUNG LIU : Migrant Mother and Her Children

Opening First Friday, November 3rd, 2017 | 7-9 p.m.


HUNG LIU : Migrant Mother and Her Children

Hung Liu

Hung Liu is primarily known as a painter of Chinese subjects, typically from the 19th and 20th centuries, whose paintings are based on historical Chinese photographs. Given the historical, often tragic subject matter she represents, her style is a kind of weeping realism. Liu’s newest paintings, however, are based upon the Dustbowl and Depression era photographs of American documentary photographer Dorothea Lange, whom Liu has long admired.

Shifting focus from Chinese to American subjects may seem a surprise to Liu’s audience, at first. But by training her attention on the displaced individuals and wandering families of the American Dustbowl, Liu finds a landscape of overarching struggle and underlying humanity that for her is familiar terrain, having been raised in China during an era (Mao’s) of epic revolution, tumult, and displacement. The 1930s Oakies and Bindle-stiff’s wandering like ghosts through Liu’s new paintings are American peasants on their way to California, the promised land.

In her paintings for Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art and Byron Cohen, Liu – who is known for a fluid style in which drips and washes of linseed oil dissolve the photo-based images the way time erodes memory – has developed a kind of topographic realism in which the paint coagulates around a webbing of colored lines, together enmeshed in a rich surface that belies the poverty of her subjects. In this, the new paintings are more factually woven to Lange’s photographs while also releasing the energy of color like a radiant of hope from beneath the grey-tones of history.

 


These exhibitions will be open
November 3, 2017 – January 20, 2018


Hung Liu

Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 11-5 p.m. & by appointment.
For past exhibitions, please visit our archive.