Hung Liu – Dandelion 12A
Dimensions: 48 x 48″
Media: oil on canvas
Hung Liu has come to adopt the dandelion as a personal symbol, as they can be found anywhere in the world and thrive wherever they are planted. Their fluffy white heads carry seed pods that are migratory and can survive a journey across vast landscapes – even across oceans – and take root anywhere in the world. For Liu, the dandelion represents her own tenacity and ability to thrive in the face of adversity and hardship.
The dandelion became a focal point for the artist during a road trip in the summer of 2014, when she took numerous photographs of the commonplace flowers in fields. Rendered from these close-up photographs at various national parks and historical sites around the Western U.S., the dandelion images, which may be tattered by a sudden breeze or left whole, each required a different style of painting. In her large-scale paintings based on the photos, most of the depicted dandelions are past their yellow bloom and gone to seed — paradoxically dying while spreading life.
Hung Liu one of the most important contemporary artists internationally. She has overcome great challenges in her life as well as in her artistic career. Forced to leave her home in Changchun, China, Liu went on to live in Beijing and was then sent to the Chinese countryside to endure forced labor during Mao’s Cultural Revolution. There, Liu witnessed unimaginable hardship, and she resolved to give them remembrance in her paintings. The calligraphic birds and fish you see in the painting are an allusion to the greatness of Chinese culture from the past. Liu asserts that historical memory is essential in transforming humanity for better.