Hung Liu

  • WORKS
  • BIOGRAPHY
  • EXHIBITIONS
 

In Last Emperor, reknowned Chinese-born artist Hung Liu revisits Pu Yi, the last emperor of China, whose court was the subject of her extraordinary “Last Dynasty” series in the 1990s. Named emperor in 1908 at the tender age of two, Pu Yi’s childhood was a bizarre exercise in extremes: living in utter isolation but with no privacy, surrounded by silent eunuchs, “he was confined like a little prisoner,” says the artist. Indulged and coddled but perpetually manipulated by outside interests, he lived as a pampered playboy with few real friends: his beloved English tutor was a British agent; his wife’s nickname for him was “eunuch.” Eventually installed by the Japanese as the puppet emperor of Manchukuo, Pu Yi was subsequently sentenced by the communist regime to a decade in jail where he was “reformed” (and finally learned to tie his shoes); he died in 1967, a humble gardener employed at the Beijing Botanical Gardens.

As in Baby King, a 1995 painting by Liu, the Last Emperor tapestry depicts Pu Yi at age seventeen – “on the eve of his marriage to two women and still unable to tie his shoes,” writes Jonathan Binstock of Baby King, “he seems overcome by the fear of an uncertain future” – the personification of a crumbling empire and the trappings of power.

Whereas the veil-like drips of linseed oil in Liu’s earlier paintings of Pu Yi impart a sense of melancholy, as if mourning the young emperor’s lost childhood, the artist’s Last Emperor tapestry places her royal subject in an altogether different context. Woven in Belgium using 17,800 warp threads, the tapestry surrounds Pu Yi with a constellation of colorful ancillary figures; its woven translations of Liu’s linseed drips act as agents of unity and protection, rather than disintegration. The spirited birds, flowers, and apsaras (flying angels) which encircle the emperor speak to a joy and freedom absent from his searching expression, yet almost certainly central to his innermost dreams. Elegiac but teeming with life, Last Emperor is a moving and sensitive portrait of a young man powerless over his own dynasty and destiny, eulogized by biographer Edward Behr as “a man kidnapped by history.”

“Hung Liu: Scales of History,” Fresno Art Museum, Fresno, CA, September 28 – January 8, 2017. 

“Hung Liu: Daughter of China, Resident Alien,” American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, Washington, D.C., September 10 – October 23, 2016.

“Hung Liu: American Exodus,” Nancy Hoffman Gallery, New York, NY, September 8 – October 22, 2016.

“Drifters: Hung Liu,” Gail Severn Gallery, Ketchum, ID, June 27 – July 27, 2016.

“Migratory Seeds: New Work by Hung Liu,” Turner Carroll Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, July 17 – August 8, 2015.

​“Summoning Ghosts: The Art of Hung Liu,” Retrospective, Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, CA, February 25 – May 24, 2015.

“Hung Liu: Dandelions,” Walter Maciel Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, February 21 – April 11, 2015.

“Hung Liu: Prints and Tapestries,” La Salle University Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA, September 17 –  December 5, 2014.

“Summoning Ghosts: The Art of Hung Liu,” Retrospective, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, October 10, 2014 – January 11, 2015

“Tilling the Soil,” Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri, September 5 – October 25, 2014.

“Hung Liu: Once Upon A Time,” Payne Gallery, Moravian College, Bethlehem, PA, September 4 – October 5, 2014.

“Hung Liu,” Gail Severn Gallery, Ketchum, ID, August 1 – 27, 2014.

“The Rat Years,” Huntington Museum of Art, Huntington, West Virginia, March 1 – April 27, 2014.

“Hung Liu: Mid Autumn Moon,” 10 Chancery Lane Gallery, Central, Hong Kong, China, September 17 –  October 5, 2013.

“Qianshan: Grandfather’s Mountain,” Nancy Hoffman Gallery, New York, NY, September 6 – October 1, 2013.

“Hung Liu: Portrait of a Chinese Self,” Turner Carroll Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, July 5 – August 18, 2013.

“Questions from the Sky: New Work from Hung Liu,” San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA, June 6 –  September 29, 2013.

“Full Circle,” Paulson Bott Press, Richmond, CA, March 14 – April 13, 2013.

“Summoning Ghosts: The Art of Hung Liu,” Retrospective, Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, CA, March 15 – July 7, 2013.

“Hung Liu: Offerings,” Mills College Art Museum, Oakland, CA, January 23 – March 17, 2013.

“Happy and Gay,” Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco, November 15 – December, 2012.

“Mothers and Daughters,” Gail Severn Gallery, Gail Severn Gallery, Ketchum, Idaho, August 3 – October 31, 2012.

“Cycle: New Works by Hung Liu,” Gatehouse Gallery, di Rosa, Napa, California, March 3 – June 10, 2012.

“Dawn Blossoms Plucked at Dusk,” Walter Maciel Gallery, Los Angeles, California, October 29  – December 22, 2011.

“(re)Pressed Memories,”  Tamarind Gallery, Tamarind Institute, Albuquerque, NM, October 21 – December 22, 2011.

“Hung Liu: New Work,” Turner Carroll Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, August 1 – September 4, 2011.

“First Spring Thunder,” Alexander Ochs Gallery, Beijing, China, May 29 – July 17, 2011.

“Hung Liu: Resin Paintings,” 10 Chancery Lane Gallery, Hong Kong, China, August 18, 2011 – 17 September 17, 2011

“Hung Liu: Bastard Paintings,” Diehl Gallery, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, July 21 – August 12, 2011

“First Spring Thunder,” Alexander Ochs Gallery, Beijing, China, May 29, 2011 – July 17, 2011.

“Concession,” Elizabeth De Brabant Gallery, Shanghai, China, May 20, 2011 – July 22, 2011.

“Hung Liu: Selected Works,” Stay ZaZa Art House & Social Gallery, Dallas, Texas, April 6, 2011 – May 6, 2011.

“Hung Liu: Richter Scale,” Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, Miami, FL, November 13 – December 31, 2010.

“New Work”, Byron Cohen Gallery, Kansas City, MO, September 3 – December 18, 2010.

“The Layers”, Gail Severn Gallery, Ketchum, ID, August 5 – September 3, 2010.

“Life and Death”, Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco, CA, April 15 – May 22, 2010.

“Leap”, Andrew Bae Gallery, Chicago, Illinois, March 5 – April, 2010.

“Sundown of the Last Dynasty: Tapestries and New Prints by Hung Liu”, Michael Berger Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA, December 05, 2009 – February 13, 2010.

“Apsaras / 飞天”, Fort Collins Museum of Contemporary Art, Fort Collins, CO, November 13 – January 2, 2010.

“Hung Liu, Prodigal Daughters”, 10 Chancery Lane Gallery, Hong Kong, China, November 19, 2009.

“Apsaras / 飞天”, Nancy Hoffman Gallery, New York, New York, September 10 – October 31, 2009.

“Hung Liu: Remote Portraits”, Turner Carroll Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, August 11 – September 8, 2009.

“Hung Liu: Prints & Paintings”, Gail Severn Gallery, Ketchum, Idaho, July 1 – August 2, 2009.

“Hung Liu: Migration/Immigration”, Curated by Michael Schwager, University Art Gallery, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, California, Feb. 26-March 22, 2009.

“Trade Winds: New Work”, Galeria Omar Alonso, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico, Jan. 14, 2009.

“Cycles”, Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, Miami, Florida, November 8 – January 3, 2008/09.

“Rat Years”, Walter Maciel Gallery, Los Angeles, California, November 1 – December 20, 2008

“Hung Liu: New Work,” Turner Carroll Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, July 18 – August 5, 2008.

“Prodigal Daughter,” F2 Gallery, Beijing, China, May 24 – June 27, 2008.

“Tai Cang (Great Granary),” Xin Beijing Art Gallery (XBAG), Beijing, China, May 25 – June 8, 2008.

“Hung Liu: Now and Then,” Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, April 1 – July 6, 2008.

“Hung Liu: Memorial Grounds 1988 – 2006”

SCAD – Savannah, Pei Ling Chang Gallery, Savannah, Georgia,

January 9 – February 27, 2008.

SCAD – Atlanta, ACA Gallery of SCAD, Atlanta, Georgia, November 1 – December 30, 2007.

“Daughters of China,” Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco, California, October 18, 2007 – November 24, 2007.

“Hung Liu: New Work,” Turner Carroll Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, August 10 – 27, 2007.

“Hung Liu: ZZ (Bastard Paintings), Nancy Hoffman Gallery, New York, New York, May 24 – July 5, 2007.

“Hung Liu – Za Zhang: Bastard Painting,” Byron C. Cohen Gallery, Kansas City, Missouri, March 2 – April 28, 2007.

“Hung Liu: New Work,” Walter Maciel Gallery, Los Angeles, California, September 7 – October 14, 2006.

“Matriarchy: Hung Liu’s New Work,” Art Scene China Warehouse, Shanghai, China, September 4 – September 20, 2006.

“The Vanishing: Re-presenting the Chinese in the American West,” University of Wyoming Art Museum,” Laramie, Wyoming, May 20 – September 30, 2006.

“Full Circle: Revolutions in the Paintings of Hung Liu,” Paul Robeson Gallery, Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey, January 17 – February 23, 2006.

“Hung Liu: Za Zhong – Bastard Paintings,” Nancy Hoffman Gallery, New York, New York, December 3, 2005 – January 3, 2006.

“Hung Liu: Polly – Portrait of a Pioneer,” Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco, California, October 13 – November 26, 2005.

“Hung Liu: Female Radical Nu Zi Pang,” Nancy Hoffman Gallery, New York, New York, May 21 – June 28, 2005.

“Hung Liu: An Exhibition of New Work at Trillium Press,” Trillium Press, Brisbane, California, May 10 – June 16 2005.

“Hung Liu,” Nathan Larramendy Gallery, Ojai, California, April 2- May 25, 2005.“ Hung Liu: A Decade of Paintings,” Guilford College Art Gallery Greensboro, North Carolina, March 21 – May 6, 2005.

“The Vanishing: Re-presenting the Chinese in the American West,” Salt Lake Art Center, Salt Lake City, UT, January 29 – March 20, 2005.

Schneider Museum of Art, Southern Orgeon University, Ashland, Oregon, Prichard Art Gallery, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho.

“Relic: New Paintings,” Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, Miami, Florida, November 27, 2004 – January 15, 2005.

“Hung Liu: Lament,” Art Scene China, Shanghai, China, September 27 – October 17, 2004.

“Hung Liu,” Byron C. Cohen Gallery, Kansas City, Missouri, March 5 – May 1, 2004.

“New Prints by Hung Liu,” Paulson Press, Berkeley, California, October 18 – November 26, 2003.

“Geography of Memory: Selected Works by Hung Liu,” Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey, California, September 13 – December 31, 2003.

“Hung Liu: Revolutionary Daughter,” Michael Berger Gallery, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, September 12 – November 29, 2003.

“Hung Liu: New Paintings,” Anne Reed Gallery, Ketchum, Idaho, July 28 – September 28, 2003.

“Hung Liu: Toward Peng-Lai (Paradise),” Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco, California, May 1 – June 7, 2003.

“Hung Liu: Works on Paper,” B. Sakata Garo Gallery, Sacramento. California, March 4 – March 29, 2003.

“Complex Puzzles, New Work: Hung Liu,” Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, Miami, Florida, November 30, 2002 – January 4, 2003.

“Painterly Proofs: Prints by Hung Liu,” de Saisset Museum, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California, September 28 – December 7, 2002.

“Hung Liu”, Polk Museum of Art, Lakeland, Florida, August 3 – October 27, 2002.

“Strange Fruit: New Paintings by Hung Liu,”

Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, Arizona, January 26 – April 28, 2002;

Boise Art Museum, Boise, Idaho, June 1 – August 4, 2002;

Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, California, October 27, 2002 – February 23, 2003;

Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California, March 8 – May 4, 2003.

“Hung Liu: Paintings,” University of Wyoming Art Museum, Laramie, Wyoming, June 22 – August 25, 2002.

“Hui Yin (Echoes),” Mabel Smith Douglass Library, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, September 4 – October 12, 2001.

“Studio Sessions: New Paintings by Hung Liu,” Craft and Cultural Arts Department, City of Oakland and State of

California Gallery, Oakland, California, 2001.

“Beyond the Frame: Hung Liu,” Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, Tennessee, September 7 – December 16, 2001.

“A Retrospective of Contemporary Paintings by Hung Liu,” Ellen Noel Art Museum of the Permian Basin, Odessa, Texas, April 20 – July 15, 2001.

“New Paintings,” Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco, California, September 7 – October 14, 2000.

“Where Is Mao? 2000,” The Art Center, Center of Academic Resources, Chulalongkom University, Bangkok, Thailand, July 6 – 31, 2000.

“Hung Liu,” LewAllen Contemporary Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, April 7 – 29, 2000.

“Hung Liu,” Byron C. Cohen Gallery, Kansas City, Missouri, January 21 – March 12, 2000.

“Hung Liu; Paintings,” Miami University Hiestand Galleries, Oxford, Ohio, November 1 – November 26, 1999.

“Hung Liu, New Work,” Steinbaum Krauss Gallery, New York, New York, October 16 – November 20, 1999.

“Hung Liu,” Gallery of Contemporary Art, Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, Connecticut, May 9 – June 3, 1999.

“Chinese Types,” Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco, California, September 3 – October 3, 1998.

“Hung Liu: WashingTown Blues,” Halsey Gallery at the College of Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina,  May 21 – June 6, 1998.

“Hung Liu: Recent Works,” Schneider Museum of Art, Southern Oregon University, Ashland, Oregon,  May 7 – June 13, 1998.

“Hung Liu: A Ten-Year Survey, 1988-98,”

The College of Wooster Art Museum, Wooster, Ohio, March-June 1998; The John and Margaret Muscarelle Museum of Art, Williamsburg, Virginia, August-October, 1998; Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Kansas City, Missouri, November-December 1998; University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California, January-March, 1999; Bowdin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine, April-June, 1999;  The Ackland Art Museum, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, September-November, 1999.

“Hung Liu’s New Work,” Steinbaum Krauss Gallery, New York, New York, October 18 – November 29, 1997.

“Hung Liu,” Golden Gate University, San Francisco, California, June 23 – August 29, 1997.

“Hung Liu: Unfolding Memory – Embodying History,” Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale, New York, March 16 – April 13, 1997.

“Hung Liu – You Can’t Go Home Again,” Donna Beam Fine Art Gallery, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada, October 7- November 8, 1996.

“Hung Liu’s New Work,” Horwitch LewAllen Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, April 5- 28, 1996.

“Hung Liu,” Mills College Art Gallery, Oakland, California, February 7 – March 17, 1996.

“Feudal Remnants,” Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco, California, January 25 – February 24, 1996.

“Parameters: Hung Liu,” The Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, Virginia, November 7, 1995 – January 14, 1996.

“Tradewind,” Ohlone College Art Gallery, Fremont, California, November 9 – December 16, 1995.

“The Last Dynasty,” Steinbaum Krauss Gallery, New York, New York, October 14 – November 18, 1995.

“Can-ton, the Baltimore Series,” Baltimore Contemporary Museum, Baltimore, Maryland, March 19 – May 29, 1995.

“Hung Liu – Paintings and Installation,” University of California at Irvine, Fine Arts Gallery, Irvine, California, October 4 – 29, 1994.

“Hung Liu: Identity Fragments,” the Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery, Porter College, University of California at Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, California, September 24 – October 30, 1994.

“Jiu Jin Shan”(Old Gold Mountain), an installation at the M. H. de Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco, California, June 8 – August 21, 1994.

“Tales of Chinese Women,” John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, February 6 – May 2, 1994.

“Year of the Dog,” Steinbaum Krauss Gallery, New York, February 12 – March 19, 1994.

“Hung Liu’s Work,” John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, February 6 – March 2, 1994.

“New Work,” Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco, California, November 11 – December 11, 1993.

“Two Small Bodies,” Churchill County Library, Churchill Arts Council, Fallon, Nevada, February, 1993.

“Sitings,” Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, New York, May 23 – July 4, 1992.

“Bad Women,” Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco, California, October 29 – November 30, 1991.