Hung Liu: Portraits of Promised Lands, 1968-2020

May 21, 2021 - January 9, 2022
painting of the artist's identification card
“Resident Alien” by Hung Liu, 1988. Oil on canvas. Collection of the San Jose Museum of Art; gift of the Lipman Family Foundation. © Hung Liu


The National Portrait Gallery will present the first major large-scale retrospective of work by Hung Liu, the internationally acclaimed Chinese-born American artist. “Hung Liu: Portraits of Promised Lands, 1968-2020” will feature more than 50 artworks spanning Liu’s time in Maoist China in the 1960s, her immigration to California in the 1980s, and the height of her career today. Having lived through wars, political revolutions, exile and displacement, Liu presents a complex, multifaceted picture of an Asian Pacific American experience. Her portraits offer a personal yet universal look at themes of feminism, history and personal memory, migration and immigration, and the freedom of self-expression. This is the first time the museum will celebrate an Asian American woman with a solo exhibition.

The exhibition’s opening coincides with Asian Pacific American Heritage Month 2021.