Hung Liu - Cottonfield

Hung Liu – Cottonfield

A lot of Hung Liu’s art starts with an old, black and white photograph from China. Most of the subjects in the photos are anonymous.

“You don’t know anything about this person,” says the Chinese-American artist from Oakland. The anonymity, she explains, gives her the freedom to take something specific and universalize it. “I will never know her name, but her image will be enshrined, in a way.”

Take one photo of an old woman cooking on a big stove that became the inspiration for Luzao (Stove), pictured above. “Definitely, she’s not cooking for herself,” Liu says. “Reminds me a little of my grandma. She made shoes, but she cooked every day, day in, day out.”