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Hung Liu

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Hung Liu

Chinese, (1948–2021)
Hung Liu (刘虹) was a Chinese-American painter, printmaker, and installation artist. Liu is known as one of the first Chinese artists to establish a career in the West, and is considered by many to be the greatest Chinese painter in the United States.

Born in Changchun, Liu studied mural painting at the Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing. In 1984 she immigrated to the United States and attended the University of California, San Diego where she studied under artist Allan Kaprow, known for his development of Happenings in America.

Since the late 1990s, Liu has drawn influence for her paintings and prints from the subjects of Chinese historical photographs of anonymous women, children, refugees, sex workers, and soldiers—many of which are from her personal collection of nineteenth-century photographs—giving vibrancy and new life to those forgotten. Similarly in her American Exodus series, Liu utilised imagery from iconic documentary photographs from photojournalists such as Dorothea Lange to create images addressing the American subjects of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl.

Liu was Professor Emerita at Mills College where she taught from 1990-2012.

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