Hung Liu: Offerings

Hung Liu: Offerings

Mills College Art Museum

Hung Liu, Jui Jin Shan (Old Gold Mountain), 1994. 200,000 fortune cookies with support structure and train tracks. Dimensions variable.
January 16, 2013
Hung Liu: Offerings

January 23–March 17, 2013
Opening reception: Wednesday, January 23, 6–8pm

Mills College Art Museum
5000 MacArthur Blvd.
Oakland, CA 94613
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11–4pm;
Wednesday 11–7:30pm

The Mills College Art Museum is pleased to present Hung Liu: Offerings, a rare opportunity to experience two of the Oakland-based artist’s most significant large-scale installations: Jui Jin Shan (Old Gold Mountain) (1994) and Tai Cang—Great Granary (2008). The exhibition examines the themes of memory, history, and cultural identity through works that navigate the life-long liminal experiences of immigration and homecoming. Accompanied by related paintings and prints, Jui Jin Shan and Tai Cang serve as memorials to the past while acknowledging the rapidly changing cultural dynamics in contemporary China.

Recognized as America’s most important Chinese artist, Hung Liu’s installations have played a central role in her work throughout her career. In Jiu Jin Shan (Old Gold Mountain), over two hundred thousand fortune cookies create a symbolic gold mountain that engulfs a crossroads of railroad tracks running beneath. Liu references not only the history of the Chinese laborers who built the railroads to support the West Coast Gold Rush, but also the hope shared among these migrant workers that they could find material prosperity in the new world. 

Tai Cang—Great Granary, in its first presentation in the United States, consists of two major components; the first is a reinvention of an earlier mural Liu painted while in graduate school in China which has since been destroyed. The second consists of 34 antique dou, a traditional Chinese food container and unit of measure, containing a grain, cereal or bean from each of the 34 provinces of China. In Tai Cang-Great Granary, Liu examines her own passage between two societies, their past and present, and the sense of impermanence that is basic to human experience. 

Born in Changchun, China in 1948, a year before the creation of the People’s Republic of China, Hung Liu lived through Maoist China and experienced the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. Trained as a social realist painter and muralist, she came to the United States in 1984 to attend the University of California, San Diego, where she received her MFA. One of the first people from mainland China to study abroad and pursue an art career, she moved to northern California to become a faculty member at Mills College in 1990, and has continued to live and work in the Bay Area. She has exhibited internationally at premier museums and galleries, and her work resides in prestigious private and institutional collections around the world. Hung Liu currently lives in Oakland and is a tenured professor in the art department at Mills College.

Hung Liu: Offerings is supported by the Agnes Cowles Bourne Fund for Special Exhibitions and the Helzel Family Foundation and is planned in conjunction with the Oakland Museum of California’s retrospective Summoning Ghosts: The Art of Hung Liu.
Winter programs
(Visit for full details)

Hung Liu: Offerings Opening Reception
Wednesday, January 23, 6–8pm
Mills College Art Museum
Free shuttle service will be provided from the MacArthur Bart station. 

Artist Talk & Gallery Walk-Through
Wednesday, January 30, 7pm
Mills College Art Museum 

Temporality, a 14-hour multimedia experience with Stephen Ratcliffe and Thingamajigs Performance Group
Saturday, February 9, 8am–12pm
Mills College Art Museum 

Bill Berkson in Conversation with Hung Liu
Wednesday, February 27, 7pm
Danforth Lecture Hall, Mills College Art Center

Haunting, performed by Molissa Fenley and Peiling Kao
Saturday, March 16, 7pm
Sunday, March 17, 4pm & 7pm
Mills College Art Museum 

About the Mills College Art Museum (MCAM)
Founded in 1925, The Mills College Art Museum is a forum for exploring art and ideas and a laboratory for contemporary art practices. Through innovative exhibitions, programs, and collections, the museum engages and inspires the intellectual and creative life of the Mills community as well as the diverse audiences of the Bay Area and beyond.

Media Contact
Maysoun Wazwaz, T 510 430 3340 / [email protected] 


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Mills College Art Museum
January 16, 2013

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