Hung Liu – Musicians
Dimensions: 72 x 96 x 8.5″
Medium: oil on canvas with inclusions
(C) Hung Liu Estate/Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York
Musicians is an early work by Hung Liu that features three dimensional objects. In 1984, Liu traveled from China to the United States to attend UC San Diego’s MFA program. Her mentor was Allan Kaprow, the originator of Happenings. Kaprow encouraged Liu to break free of her Socialist Realism training, and to invent new ways of art making. She began breaking through the picture plane and incorporating three dimensional objects placed on shelves and inside boxes, in her artworks. Musicians in one of her quintessential works in this genre, and it represents a breakthrough in Liu’s journey of artistic discovery upon her arrival in the U.S.
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.
Hung Liu was the subject of a major career retrospective at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery in 2021, and her works are featured in more than 50 prestigious museum collections throughout the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art.