The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery presents “Hung Liu: Portraits of Promised Lands”

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery will present “Hung Liu: Portraits of Promised Lands,” the artist’s first portrait retrospective and the first major exhibition of his work on the East Coast. Showcasing more than 50 paintings, photographs and drawings, the Portrait Gallery exhibition will examine the powerful art of Hung Liu (1948-2021), from his first photographs and drawings made in the early 1970s to his recent large-scale paintings. . Liu, who was born in Changchun, China, experienced political revolution, exile and displacement before immigrating to the United States in 1984.

Liu’s “Portraits of the Promised Lands” depict members of his family as well as anonymous subjects. Over the course of five decades, she has portrayed refugees, female soldiers, migrant workers, sex workers, orphaned children and other neglected individuals, whom she described as lost souls or “ghost spirits”. “. Liu reinvented their stories and honored them with his brush.

“Hung Liu: Portraits of Promised Lands”, curated by Dorothy Moss, Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the National Portrait Gallery, is part of the Smithsonian American Women’s History, “Because of Her Story” initiative. The richly illustrated catalog of the exhibition is published by the National Portrait Gallery in association with Yale University Press.

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Christopher A. Mayer