Hung Liu: Offerings Embodies Mills College Spirit of Cultural Expression through Art

Jiu Jin Shan (Old Gold Mountain), 1994. 200,000 fortune cookies with support structure and train tracks. Dimensions variable. (Photo: Business Wire)

OAKLAND, Calif.--()--Continuing its legacy of innovation in the arts, Mills College showcases a rare presentation of large-scale installations by Oakland-based artist and Mills Professor of Art Hung Liu in Hung Liu: Offerings at the Mills College Art Museum, January 23, 2013–March 17, 2013. The exhibition also includes related paintings and prints by Liu.

Hung Liu: Offerings features Liu’s installations Jiu Jin Shan (Old Gold Mountain) (1994) and Tai Cang—Great Granary (2008). The exhibition examines themes of memory, history, and cultural identity through works that navigate the complex journey of immigration and returning home.

Liu joined the Mills faculty in 1990 and serves as a tenured professor of art at Mills College, which, throughout its 160 years, has pushed the limits of social and cultural expression through art. Born and raised in China during the rule of Mao Zedong, Liu’s work incorporates both modern and historical themes. She is widely regarded for a body of work that includes highly evocative paintings, murals, drawings, mixed media, and printmaking.

"Hung Liu has played an integral role in shaping the visual art offering at Mills College, which embraces intellectual rigor and bold creative practice," said Stephanie Hanor, director of the Mills College Art Museum. "Hung Liu: Offerings epitomizes the innovative thinking and techniques that have made her one of the most prominent Chinese artists working in the United States today."

In Hung Liu: Offerings, Liu’s installations Jiu Jin Shan and Tai Cang serve as memorials to the past while acknowledging rapidly changing cultural dynamics in contemporary China.

Jiu Jin Shan (Old Gold Mountain), which was originally commissioned in 1994 by the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, features more than 200,000 fortune cookies in a symbolic gold mountain engulfing a crossroads of railroad tracks beneath it. The junction of the tracks represents the cultural intersection of East and West as well as the shattered dreams of Chinese immigrants who perished during the building of the Sierra Nevada stage of the transcontinental railroad.

Tai Cang—Great Granary contains two distinct components. The first, Music of the Great Earth II, examines Liu’s passage between past and present through a reinterpretation of a mural she painted while earning her master’s degree in Beijing. Music of the Great Earth II is not intended as a recreation of the original, which was demolished, but as Liu’s analysis of how moving through time and place shape her perspective. The second component of Tai Cang—Great Granary features 34 antique dou, a traditional Chinese food container and unit of measure arranged in a map of China and representing the country’s 34 provinces and special regions.

With support from the Agnes Cowles Bourne Fund for Special Exhibitions and the Helzel Family Foundation, Hung Liu: Offerings is planned in conjunction with the Oakland Museum of California’s retrospective Summoning Ghosts: The Art of Hung Liu.

Hung Liu: Offerings is on exhibition January 23, 2013–March 17, 2013 at the Mills College Art Museum, with an opening reception on Wednesday, January 23, 2013, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm.

Related Events at the Mills College Art Museum:

Artist Talk and Gallery Walk-Through
Wednesday, January 30, 2013, 7:00 pm

Temporality (a 14-hour multimedia art experience)
Saturday, February 9, 2013, 8:00 am–10:00 pm

Bill Berkson in Conversation with Hung Liu
Saturday, February 27, 2013, 7:00 pm

Haunting (an original dance performance)
Saturday, March 16, 2013, 7:00 pm
Sunday, March 17, 2013, 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm

The Mills College Art Museum is located at 5000 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, CA 94613. Events and exhibitions are free and open to the public. Museum hours are Tuesdays–Sundays 11:00 am–4:00 pm and Wednesdays 11:00 am–7:30 pm. The museum is closed on Mondays. Free parking is available on campus.

About Mills College

Nestled in the foothills of Oakland, California, Mills College is a nationally renowned, independent liberal arts college offering a dynamic progressive education that fosters leadership, social responsibility, and creativity in approximately 950 undergraduate women and more than 600 graduate women and men. The College ranks as one of the Best 377 Colleges in the country and one of the greenest colleges in the nation by The Princeton Review. U.S. News & World Report ranked Mills one of the top-tier regional universities in the country and lists it among the top colleges and universities in the West in the “Great Schools, Great Prices’’ category.

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Mills College
Cameron Sullivan, 510-430-2300
Media Relations Manager

Release Summary

Mills College showcases a rare presentation of installations by Oakland-based artist and Mills Professor of Art Hung Liu at the Mills College Art Museum, January 23, 2013


Mills College
Cameron Sullivan, 510-430-2300
Media Relations Manager