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A marriage between cultures: Hung Liu’s exhibition at Mills

On Jan. 23, the Mills College Art Museum (MCAM) opened their latest exhibition: Mills Studio Art professor and Bay Area based artist Hung Liu’s Offerings exhibition in conjunction to her retrospective, Summoning Ghosts: The Art of Hung Liu at Oakland Museum of California opening March 16th.

The Mills College Art Museum will be displaying Hung Liu’s exhibit Offerings until March 17. Her collection emphasizes her relationship both with Chinese and American culture. All photos courtesy of the Mills College Art Museum.

The opening reception for Liu’s MCAM exhibit was on Wednesday, Jan. 23 was from 6-8 p.m.

The exhibition contains two of Liu’s installation pieces and as well as mural, paintings, and prints. Liu’s marriage of her Chinese American background and her residence in America, emphasizing the Bay Area, make every piece in the exhibit part of her identity.

The two installations focus on different attributes of Chinese culture, specifically food.

One installation, Jiu Jin Shan (Old Gold Mountain), is a pyramid of fortune cookies and railroad tracks featured in the first room of the museum.

The installation reflects the historical aspects of the Chinese workforce in San Francisco during the railroad boom. Further displaying the Chinese workforce in San Francisco are the paintings of two large ships, called Chinese Shrimp Junk I and II.

The second installation for viewers is more of a guessing game. There are 34 containers on the floor of the second room, all filled with food. Each container represents one of the 34 providences in China. On the wall behind the containers is a large mural, with an auspicious color palette and past self portraits.

“I kept looking at it, and I kept seeing people coming out from behind things (in the painting itself). And the more I looked, the more things were there to see, I could have spent all night looking at it” said Mills first year Joycelynn Ferguson, who thought the mural represented journeys of the immigrant. Liu’s piece is about her own journey of cultural identity as both Chinese and American.

President DeCoudreaux was among the many guests who attended the opening.

“I had seen her (Liu’s) paintings in the President’s house,” DeCoudreaux said. “ it was actually some of the first art I saw when I first arrived on campus…but I love seeing this other side of her artwork,”

Hung Liu: Offerings is a great exhibit that showcases one of Mills’ own professors and displays Liu’s cultural and artistic growth.

The exhibit will be at the Mills College Art Museum until March 17.