Beginning in the 1970s until her death in 2021, the pathbreaking Chinese-born American painter Hung Liu made highly narrative images that foregrounded workers, immigrants, refugees, women, children, and soldiers in haunting, incandescent portraits that mingle Chinese and Western traditions.
One of the first Chinese artists to establish a career in the United States, Liu explored the fragile relationship between memory and history in paintings and works on paper that focus on communities misrepresented or marginalized by official narratives. Featuring multilayered brushstrokes, washes of linseed oil, and experimental printing techniques, Liu’s knotty if purposefully accessible oeuvre has been characterized by her husband, critic Jeff Kelley, as a species of “weeping realism.”
As part of a collaboration with Converge 45, The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at Portland State University will host an exhibition of paintings and prints by the late Chinese American artist Hung Liu in the Fall of 2023. Drawn entirely from the exhaustive holdings of the collections of Jordan Schnitzer and the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, the exhibition will provide a major entry point for Converge 45’s citywide discussion of Social Forms: Art & Global Citizenship. An exhibition of eleven paintings, three cotton Jacquard tapestries, and a complement of lithographs and other works on paper, A Question of Hu will serve to introduce Lui’s remarkable work to the Pacific Northwest, while demonstrating—like few artistic oeuvres can—an expanded view of citizenship in an era of seismic change that is also fundamentally marked by evolving ideas of artistic solidarity and collaboration.