Hung Liu In Print

  • A young woman with dark hair in two braids carries a male toddler on her back. The artwork is a lithgraph print using reds, black and grays, and tan colors.
    Hung Liu, Sisters, 2000; Lithograph with chine collé on paper, 22 x 29 3/4 in.; Gift of the Harry and Lea Gudelsky Foundation, Inc.; © Hung Liu
  • Three you women stand together with arms around each other. They are wearing military uniforms.
    Hung Liu, Sisters in Arms I (State II), 2003; Lithograph on paper, 30 x 36 in.; Promised Gift of Steven Scott, Baltimore, in Honor of the Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the National Museum of Women in the Arts; © Hung Liu; Photo by Lee Stalsworth
  • Digital print of a watercolor and mixed media print depicting a woman from early 20th century China lounging on a sofa. The background is a pale pink wash.
    Hung Liu, Untitled (from "Seven Poses" series)(detail), 2005; Digital print on paper, 14 x 14 in.; Gift of the Greater Kansas City Area Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts; © Hung Liu

Hung Liu In Print on view January 19–July 8, 2018

Hung Liu In Print invites viewers to explore the relationship between the artist’s multi-layered paintings and the palpable, physical qualities of her works on paper. To make her prints, Liu (b. 1948) uses an array of printing and collage techniques, developing highly textured surfaces, veils of color, and screens of drip marks that transform the figures in each composition. Describing printmaking as “poetry,” she emphasizes the spontaneity of the layering process, which allows each image to build organically with each successive layer.

Before immigrating to California in 1984, Liu grew up during Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution in China, where she worked alongside fieldworkers and trained as a painter. Adapting figures from historical Chinese photographs, Liu reimagines antique depictions of laborers, refugees, and prostitutes. Her multifaceted oeuvre probes the human condition and confronts issues of culture, identity, and personal and national history.

Best known as a painter, Liu ably translates the “weeping realism” that characterizes her canvases into the medium of prints. This focus exhibition highlights selected prints from the collection of the National Museum of Women in the Arts as well as the artist’s related tapestry designs.

Hung Liu In Print, presented in the Teresa Lozano Long Gallery of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, is organized by the museum and generously supported by its members.

National Museum of Women in the Arts