Visiting artist blends modern and classic Chinese symbols

With bold prints, current Hershberger Gallery artist Hung Liu questions history, issues around feminism, Chinese politics and the universe.

Born in 1948 in Changchun, China during the time of the communist Mao Zedong regime, Hung was sent to work in the rice fields for four years as a high school senior.

Ordered to paint art glorifying the Mao regime, Hung found a correlation between the hopeless faces of present-day Chinese women workers and the old photographs of past Emperors and their wives, inserting challenging references in the propaganda she painted.

Hung studied art and earned her bachelor’s of fine arts in education from Beijing’s Teachers College. She then taught art at the elite Jing Shan School and began a children’s television program, “How to Draw and Paint.”

Hung earned a graduate degree in mural painting from the Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing in 1975 and a master’s in visual arts from UCLA in 1986. She has been awarded multiple grants and awards, and has shown her work in major galleries and museums around the world.

Hung’s art is infused with Chinese history and symbols, both contemporary and ancient. The prints displayed in the Hershberger Gallery place Chinese women toiling in labor among lyrical images from classic Chinese paintings — birds, flowers and fish.

Colorful drips and traditional Chinese painting motifs partially obscure images of peasants. Circles appear throughout her paintings, Hung’s own signature mark and an ancient Chinese symbol of the universe.

Hung Liu will present a free, public lecture at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 15 in Rieth Recital Hall.

The Hershberger Gallery is located in the Goshen College Music Center and will feature Hung’s exhibit until Mar. 3.

Andrea Kraybill
Written by Andrea Kraybill

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