Kala Art Institute Presents Hung Liu: Daughters of China

Kala Art Institute Presents Hung Liu: Daughters of China

Hung Liu has a major exhibition at the Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, California.  The exhibition runs from October 19, 2017 to January 20, 2018.  Curated by Peter Selz and Sue Kubly, the Kala website says about the exhibition “Known for paintings based on historical Chinese photographs, Hung Liu’s subjects over the years have been prostitutes, refugees, street performers, soldiers, laborers, and prisoners, among others. As a painter, Liu challenges the documentary authority of historical Chinese photographs by subjecting them to the more reflective process of painting. Much of the meaning of Liu’s painting comes from the way the washes and drips dissolve the documentary images, suggesting the passage of memory into history, while working to uncover the cultural and personal narratives fixed – but often concealed – in the photographic instant. Washing her subjects in veils of dripping linseed oil, she both “preserves and destroys the image.” Liu has invented a kind of weeping realism that surrenders to the erosion of memory and the passage of time, while also bringing faded photographic images vividly to life as rich, facile paintings. She summons the ghosts of history to the present. In effect, Liu turns old photographs into new paintings.”

In conjunction with this exhibition the City of Berkeley declared Hung Liu day with this pronouncement: “Several times a year, the City of Berkeley, honors extraordinary artists and art institutions in our city. On Tuesday, December 19th between 6:00 pm and 6:30 pm the city will honor Hung Liu and Kala Art Institute. You are invited to attend the ceremony in the City Council Chambers at 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way.”

Two fantastic articles about the exhibition and Hung appeared shortly after the show opened.  Nick Stone authored this great piece in SquareCylinder and Marcia Tanner penned this piece in BerkeleySide.

18 January 2018

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