Hung Liu, one of the first contemporary Chinese artists to establish a career in the United States, joins Chinese art expert Barbara Pollack to share and discuss her work, her life, and the challenges Chinese artists face today. Hung’s work synthesizes her experiences growing up in Maoist China and the Cultural Revolution with the themes of historic and contemporary Chinese painting. A recent planned exhibit in Beijing was canceled when the authorities declined to issue the necessary permits. Hung’s work is in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery of Art, and many other institutions.
Barbara Pollack is an award-winning journalist, art critic, and curator who is one of the world’s leading authorities on contemporary Chinese art. Pollack’s writing has appeared in Vanity Fair, The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Village Voice, Departures, Artnews, Art and Auction and Art in America, among many others. She has also written several ground-breaking monographs on young Chinese artists, including the first published artist profile of Ai Weiwei for Artnews in 2005. She lectures regularly across the USA and Asia. Her latest book, Brand New Art from China: A Generation on the Rise, was released in September, 2018.
Hung Liu is a contemporary Chinese painter. Widely recognized for her large, painterly depictions of traditional and contemporary Chinese women, children, and refugees in muted, earthy hues, Hung has been producing art since the early 1970s, experimenting with painting as a method for social change and critique. Her artwork is often described as a hybrid of her own personal experience with the Cultural Revolution and the Maoist regime, as well as an appropriation of the themes and styles of historic and contemporary Chinese painting. Her work notably draws from both the imagery of ancient Chinese art, as well as the Chinese Socialist Realist style of painting in which she was originally trained. She has received extensive honors and awards for her work, including two painting fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a Joan Mitchell Fellowship. She was born in Changchun, China on February 17, 1948, and currently lives and works in Oakland, CA.