Hung Liu, artist who documented the immigrant experience, has died at 73
August 11, 2021 - Oscar Holland
Liu's forthcoming exhibition, the first solo show by an Asian American at the National Portrait Gallery, will still go ahead, the museum confirmed.
She was born in Changchun, a city in northeastern China, in 1948, the year before the Communist Party declared victory in the country's bloody civil war. Growing up in the early decades of Mao's rule, Liu trained in Socialist Realism -- an idealized style typical of communist art education and propaganda at the time -- before studying mural painting at Beijing's prestigious Central Academy of Fine Art.
In addition to sketched portraits of villagers and landscape paintings of rural China, Liu also experimented with photography in her early years, capturing images of her village during Mao's tumultuous Cultural Revolution. Liu's interest in the medium would later prove central to her work, which often merged historical photographs with her own compassionate portraiture.