Hung Liu – Souvenir
Dimensions: 48 x 64 x 8″ unframed
Medium: oil on canvas and mixed media
Hung Liu’s Souvenir features a rendition of a photograph from the 1900s (right panel) depicting the slow death of a Chinese criminal, as he is stands in a wooden cage. Indicative of the Chinese code of punishment, the criminal will be choked to death by the ever tightening wooden collar when he can no longer stand on his tiptoes to avoid it. Western men surround the tortured criminal, posing proudly for a picture of this “exotic” practice. The vase depicted in the right panel is held in a European museum, further illustrating the objectification of the Chinese “exotic”. The wooden box shelf and golden bowl atop it serve as an offering to the dignity of those depicted in the cage and on the vase.