Hung Liu – Last Emperor
Dimensions: 87.5 x 73″ finished size / 87.5 x 73″ unframed
Medium: cotton Jacquard tapestry
Last Emperor–Hung Liu
Hung Liu grew up in China during Mao’s Cultural Revolution, working as a laborer in the wheat and rice fields for four years, with only one day off per year as part of her “re-education.” During this time during the Cultural Revolution, Hung Liu painted in secret; her “My Secret Freedom” watercolor landscapes are on exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Hung Liu attended the Central Academy of Art in Beijing along with Chinese contemporary artist, Ai Wei Wei, among others. Following this, she applied to UC San Diego to study with Alan Kaprow, originator of Happenings in the U.S. Though she had to defer her acceptance for four years while repeatedly being denied a passport by the Chinese government, she ultimately made it to the United States, leaving behind a two year old son and her mother in pursuit of her art. Liu arrived in the U.S. with only $20 and two suitcases. Her trajectory quickly skyrocketed, however, and her works began to be snatched up by major U.S. museums and collectors. Now, Hung Liu’s magnificent works are included in over 40 major museum collections in the U.S., from the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art to the Los Angeles County Museum, and all major museums in between.