The exhibition Summoning Ghosts: The Art of Hung Liu is the first comprehensive survey of the artwork of Hung Liu-one of the most prominent Chinese-American painters working in the United States today. Featuring approximately 80 paintings, as well as personal ephemera such as photographs, sketch books, and informal painting studies from private and public collections around the world, the exhibition celebrates Liu's career accomplishments and includes work completed in China before the artist arrived in the U.S. The exhibition explores the evolution of Liu's artistic practice, and investigates the complex interactions between individual memory and history, and documentary evidence and artistic expression, among other themes.
Born in Changchun, China, in 1948, a year before the creation of the People's Republic of China, Liu lived through Maoist China and experienced the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. Trained as a social realist painter and muralist, she came to the United States in 1984 to attend the University of California, San Diego, where she received her MFA. One of the first people from mainland China to study abroad and pursue an art career, she moved to northern California to become a faculty member at Mills College in 1990, and has continued to live and work in the Bay Area. She has exhibited internationally at premier museums and galleries, and her work resides in prestigious private and institutional collections around the world. Hung Liu currently lives in Oakland and is a tenured professor in the art department at Mills College.