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Hung Liu: Towards Peng-Lai
Hung Liu was born in Changchun, China in 1948 and came of age during Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution. Studying painting at the Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing, Liuís social realist training is still evident in the near photographical precision with which she depicts her subjects. In 1984 Liu immigrated to the United States to attend the University of California, San Diego, where she received an MFA.
Liuís paintings explore themes related to her heritage and identity, often utilizing photographic images as a starting point. Her work was dramatically influenced by the discovery in 1990 on a visit to China of several hundred photographs from the time of the Cultural Revolution. Liuís photographic reinterpretations are overlaid with motifs such as birds, flowers, insects and dragons drawn from traditional Chinese painting, emphasizing the complex composition of culture in general, and the richness of Chinese heritage in particular.