We are very happy to announce that SFMOMA has acquired Hung Liu’s entire “My Secret Freedom” series. This body of 36 still extant paintings was recently shown at SFMOMA from March through September 2018 in an exhibition curated by Nancy Lim. While attending art school at the Beijing Teacher’s College from 1972 through 1975, Hung would slip into the countryside and paint on the sly. The great irony of this body of work is that these small pieces were simply scenes of everyday Chinese life, they were also radical images as they did not represent the proscribed images of peasants, and soldiers, and workers. Painting just to paint—and not in the service of the state—was a dangerous proposition. So while there were initially hundreds of these little paintings, only 36 exist today.
In addition, the acquisition of the “My Secret Freedom” series was made in conjunction with a gift from Hung Liu of an important early self-portrait “Avant-Garde” from 1993. The painting is included in the current SFMOMA exhibition “Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World” organized by the Guggenheim Foundation in conjunction with Guggenheim Senior Curator, Alexandra Munroe, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art Director, Philip Tinari and National Museum of 21st Century Arts Artistic Director, Hou Hanru. The exhibition is on view at SFMOMA through February 24, 2019.
21 December 2018