Hung Liu, Resident Alien, 1988. Measures 5 x 7 in.
Born in Changchun, China, in 1948, Hung Liu grew up under the Maoist regime. Trained in the Socialist Realist style of painting, she elevates the subjects of archival photographs, re-creating them in the grand scale and lyrical style of history painting. Challenging primary sources, officially sanctioned documents, and revisionist accounts, Liu foregrounds displaced and wandering people frequently left out of traditional historical narratives and resurfaces stories lost to time. In her site-specific installation combining existing and new work in Wilsey Court, Liu highlights international and domestic narratives of migration. Reimagining some of her most iconic paintings, such as Resident Alien, 1988 through the lens of her personal trajectory, she places herself among and celebrates the people who arrived in California from both land and sea.