Hung Liu 劉虹 (b. 1948)

Born in Changchun, China and now an American citizen, Hung Liu holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art and Art Education from the Beijing Teacher’s College, a Graduate Degree in Mural Painting from the Central Academy of Fine Art, Beijing, and a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Visual Arts from the University of California San Diego. Today, she is Professor of Arts at MillsCollege in Oakland.

Over the years, Liu has staged more than 50 solo exhibitions and over 100 group exhibitions in the U.S, China and numerous other parts of Asia and Europe. She has also been the recipient of several prestigious awards like the Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art (SECA) Award, and the San Francisco Women’s Center Humanities Award, to name a few. Her artworks are on permanent display at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, and various corporate institutions in the U.S.

Hung Liu’s art conveys her intimate interpretations of various cultural and societal issues, drawing inspiration from turn-of-the-century photographs which she collects from China. These rare and unique remnants of an episodic time and the stories encased within them are artistically projected into meaningful oil and canvas paintings, thus encapsulating Liu’s personal impressions and reflections.

Liu’s protagonists usually centre on nameless female figures, individuals who were sold off into prostitution; with lotuses symbolising offerings surrounding their lithe, porcelain bodies. Through her paintings, she desires to bestow them ‘new lives’, being a believer in the notion that art needs ‘soul’ and ‘meaning’ to acquire timelessness. These paintings by Liu are analogous to shrines that have been dedicated to these lost women.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

  • 2015 | Summoning Ghosts: The Art of Hung Liu Retrospective, Palm Springs Art Museum, CA, USA
  • 2015 | Summoning Ghosts: The Art of Hung Liu Retrospective, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas, MO, USA
  • 2014 | Hung Liu: Prints and Tapestries, La Salle University Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA, USA
  • 2014 | The Rat Years, 2Huntington Museum of Art, Huntington, WV, USA
  • 2013 | Questions from the Sky: New Work from Hung Liu, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA, USA
  • 2013 | Summoning Ghosts: The Art of Hung Liu Retrospective, Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, CA, USA
  • 2013 | Hung Liu: Offerings, Mills College Art Museum, Oakland, CA, USA
  • 2007 | Hung Liu: Old Road: West Wind, iPreciation, Singapore

 Selected Group Exhibitions 

  • 2014 | I’ll Show you Mine: Contemporary Artists Explore Family Portraits, Palo Alto, CA, USA
  • 2014 | Beautiful Disintegrating Obstinate Horror Drawing and Other Recent Acquisitions and Selections from the Museums’ Permanent Collection, UNM Art Museum’s Jonson Gallery, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA
  • 2014 | The Intuitionists, The Drawing Center, NY, USA
  • 2014 | Radical Repetition: Albers to Warhol, from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and his Family Foundation, Whatcom Museum, Bellingham, WA, USA
  • 2014 | The Female Gaze: Selfhood and Community from the Linda Lee Alter Collection of Art by Women, Victoria H. Myhren Gallery, University of Denver School of Art and Art History, CO, USA
  • 2014 | The Other Side: Chinese and Mexican Immigration to America, USC Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, CA, USA

Selected Public Collections

  • 2016 | Highland Hospital, Oakland, CA, USA
  • 2008 | San Francisco International Airport, CA, USA
  • 2006 | Oakland International Airport Terminal 2, CA, USA
  • 2004 | Asian Art Museum Civic Centre, San Francisco, CA, USA
  • 2002 | Cerritos Library, CA, USA
  • 1995 | Embarcadero Center, San Francisco, CA, USA
  • 1995 | San Jose Museum of Art and the City of San Jose Collection, CA, USA
  • 1992 | Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco, CA, USA
  • 1986 | Media Center and Communications Building, University of California, San Diego, CA, USA
  • 1981 | Central Academy of Fine Art, Beijing, China

For full list of exhibitions and public collections, please contact the gallery at

Images of artworks





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