Art Scene China - Contemporary Chinese Art



Hung Liu Press Release

Art Scene Warehouse is pleased to announce the start of their fall 2006 season with the highly anticipated solo-woman show of Hung Liu's work. Hung Liu is one of China's most internationally acclaimed artists, currently living and working in the United States where her paintings form a part of the collections at the Whitney Museum, the Asian Art Museum (in San Francisco) and the Smithsonian, among many other important museums in the USA. Hung Liu has been dubbed as "the most famous and important Chinese woman artist in North America". A graduate of the prestigious Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, Hung Liu emigrated to the United Sates in 1984, where she has permanently resided and become well-reputed. Hung Liu was one of the first artists to leave China in the 1980's. This will be Hung Liu's second exhibition in her native China; her first show was also at Art Scene Warehouse in 2004, marking exactly 20 years since her departure from her homeland, and the exhibition was a huge success. Hung feels that it is important for people from her motherland to be able to view her artworks, and thus such an important artist is very enthusiastic about her second exhibition in China.

Hung Liu has painted a series of ten new works especially for the exhibition with the theme of women at work.  While her past work has focused on photographic based historical depictions of everyday life, this series is a move towards a more modern interpretation of these themes. Hung Liu's style incorporates the use of paint wash and drips to give the paintings a weathered feel. Both the technique and subject matter create a sense of time gone by and evoke a notion of nostalgia for the past. The artist says she wants to "both preserve and destroy the image, suggesting perhaps that the cultural and personal narratives fixed in the photographic instant."  She achieves this by including Chinese imagery such as birds, landscapes and even hairstyles from a bygone time, then using the paint strokes to imbue a more contemporary quality. 

The works on display will include iconic images of women working at home and in the field with a particular focus on traditional Chinese lifestyle. Images such as women breast-feeding their babies, women picking rice in the field and in the domestic arena are all depicted in Hung Liu's trademark style. The palette is a range of rich earthy tones with hints of deep red throughout.  In the foreground of one such painting, three women in the rice fields are represented, hunched over their work while hovering behind them is a larger than life-sized bird, draped in a rusty-red hued background. Another, more jarring piece, portrays three women in a blood red pillory, hands submissively folded with a look of surrender in their eyes. In this series, Hung Liu continues to use images of wildlife and landscapes to complement the theme in question. 




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