Urgent Museum Notice


Curator’s Perspective: Hung Liu

Event Details

Event Date and Time

Wed, Jun 26, 2024
6 to 7 pm

Tickets and Reservations

Free. Reservations Required.



A square painting with layered, dripping textures of a Chinese woman with dark hair and a traditional dress. She gazes straightforward at the viewer. In front of her, a tree branch extends upward and a bird perches on the end of it. The background consists of two different shades of blue and on the left side of the canvas an open-mouthed fish points towards the woman.
In this members-only presentation, Associate Curator Orin Zahra discusses Hung Liu: Making History.

Event Description

About the Event

Join us for this special virtual event in which Orin Zahra shares behind-the-scenes insights about Hung Liu: Making History. Presenting selections from the museum’s extensive collection of works by the artist, the exhibition highlights the array of techniques that Liu used to create her poignant portraits, including collage, layered colors and motifs, and screens of drip marks that she described as a “veil of tears.”

Chinese-born American artist Hung Liu (1948–2021) transformed her canvases and paper surfaces into memorial sites for the women and children who she represented. Growing up during Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution in China, she toiled in forced labor and trained as a painter before immigrating to California in 1984, where she continued her art education. In the 1990s, Liu discovered historical black-and-white photographs that became her source material, which she combined with imagery from traditional Chinese arts. These elements comprise her powerful portraits of laborers, refugees, orphaned children, women soldiers, and sex workers. Liu monumentalizes these downtrodden and oft-forgotten individuals in history, whom she called “spirit ghosts,” as mythic figures on the grander scale of history painting.

If you have any questions, please email member@nmwa.org or call 866-875-4627 toll free.

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Automated Captioning

This event will have automated speech-to-text transcription. The text will be displayed in the event video window, and attendees can turn captioning on or off throughout the program.

Accessibility Inquiries

If you are unable to register online or would like to indicate any accessibility services you require, please email member@nmwa.org. Two weeks’ notice to request accessibility services is appreciated but not required. We will make every attempt to fulfill requests.