The story of America as a destination for the homeless and hungry of the world is not only a myth. It is a story of desperation, of sadness, of uncertainty, of leaving your home. It is also a story of determination, and—more than anything—of hope.
— Hung Liu, 2017
Hung Liu (1948–2021) was a contemporary Chinese-born American artist, whose multilayered paintings established new frameworks for understanding portraiture in relation to time, memory, and history. Often sourcing her subjects from photographs, Liu elevated overlooked individuals by amplifying the stories of those who have historically been invisible or unheard. Having lived through war, political revolution, exile, and displacement, she offered a complex picture of an Asian Pacific American experience. Her portraits speak powerfully to those seeking a better life, in the United States and elsewhere. Hung Liu: Portraits of Promised Lands will be first major exhibition of the artist's work on the East Coast. This is also the first time that a museum will focus on Liu’s portraiture.