Adapting figures from historical Chinese photographs, Hung Liu (b. 1948) reimagines antique depictions of laborers, refugees, and prostitutes. After toiling for four years in rice and wheat fields as part of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution, Liu trained as a painter in her native China and later California, where she lives and works today. To create her works on paper, she blends an array of printing and collage techniques, developing highly textured surfaces, veils of color, and screens of drip marks that transform the figures in each composition. Recently, Liu has begun to explore historical American subjects, particularly families caught in the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, a context of struggle and migration that resonates for the artist. This focus exhibition continues NMWA’s exploration of innovations in printmaking, a medium in which women have worked since at least the sixteenth century.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website