April 13, 2001
Renowned Artist Hung Lui Talks
About Art, Democracy and Communism
Most art tells a story, but artist Hung
Lui's work documents a revolution. Liu is a storyteller whose
art reflects the turmoil of her life that in turn paralleled
the birth and evolution of Chinese communism. She will talk
about her work and her personal experiences at 2 p.m., Thursday,
April 26 at California State University, Sacramento in Mariposa
Only six months after Lui was born in China in 1948, Liu's
father was imprisoned as a traitor and she was not reunited
with him until 45 years later.
In 1968, Liu was forced to leave her mother to work in the
country's rice fields for four years as part of China's Cultural
Revolution re-education effort.
"The Cultural Revolution happened when I was 18. Most
of us were sent to the countryside, some to military farms.
All the intellectuals, even junior high school kids up to
famous writers, musicians, actors, all who had something to
do with the intellect, were sent to get re-educated by the
working class," Lui says.
In 1972, Lui enrolled at the Central Academy of Fine Art in
Beijing. Trained in the socialist realist style of art, Lui
takes photographic images and drips linseed oil on the surface,
creating an effect that makes the images look as though they
have been ever-so-slightly rained on.
"Everything is relative. My work is not timeless. It's
not universal, as if anywhere you take art it will always
be the same. Rather it is already broken down, with different
cultural styles. There is a lot of middle ground and ambiguity,
especially when I use historical photographs," Lui says.
Interweaving aspects of Western and Eastern culture, Lui's
works reflect the artist's Chinese heritage within the context
of her immigration to the United States in 1984.
"The value of photography, I think, is that it is a democracy.
In front of a camera, no matter if someone is a slave in Africa
or royalty in China, all subjects level out and are the same
in the image," Lui says.
Liu's work portrays the consequences of authoritarian power,
the collision and assimilation of individual and national
identities and the changing roles of women in Chinese society.
Liu received her master's degree in 1986 at the University
of California, San Diego. She is currently an art professor
at Mills College in Oakland, California.
For more information about Lui's talk call (916) 278-6166.
Media assistance is available by contacting the CSUS office
of public affairs at (916) 278-6156.
further information send E-Mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or
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