Hung Liu – Shan – Mountain
Dimensions: 47 x 36″ finished size
Medium: color aquatint etching with gold leaf on paper
“The names of the paintings themselves allude to the Chinese name for landscape paintings (shan shui hua, literally “mountain river paintings”) where towering mountains and sweeping rivers dwarf the occupants of the land. Although she imitates the aesthetics of landscape painting, Liu ultimately subverts their focus. Rather than emphasizing nature’s grandeur, she asserts the dignity of these individuals. By blending Western portraiture with Chinese landscape painting, Liu casts her subjects as monumental figures that stand independent of time or place. History may pick and choose who to remember, the paintings seem to say, but the integrity of the human spirit will thrive regardless.”
—Xiaoxiao Meng was the summer 2017 publications and communications/marketing intern at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.