In this video we take a look at Chinese born artist, Hung Liu, as she gets ready for a show in New York at the Steinbaum Krauss Gallery. Most of her pieces consist of social realism paintings, done from photographs. Liu also likes to address the objectivity and oppression of women throughout Chinese history in her art. In 1966, Hung Liu was in high school getting ready to go to college when Mao's Cultural Revolution began. She was forced to leave her home to work in the rice fields as part of Mao's Cultural Revolution re-education effort. It was during this time that Liu started sketching and photographing the farmers and their families. Her artistic ability didn't go unnoticed and she was sometimes asked to do propaganda pieces. In fact, her first public showing was a propaganda piece. After the schools were reopened, Liu got to pursue her formal art training at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. Contrary to what most might think, she was not trained in the traditional Chinese ways, but rather in the Academy's official style which was Russian socialist realism.
The piece featured here was oil on canvas triptych of three Fujians. For this piece she employed a technique in which she lets the paint drip and run somewhat. The Three Fujians were Emperor's concubines. Hung states she was drawn to their formal pose and mask-like faces, and how it seemed to express the roles they were forced to fill. Even though they were royalty, the role was no more than a prostitute. She hung three birdcages on the painting to emphasize her point.
In conclusion, I not only admired the artists work, but also her perseverance, while growing up in China during those tumultuous revolutionary years to become the person she is today. I also found the drip technique she utilized was very interesting and added to the overall appeal of the piece.