"Had Liu stuck to her early training in Socialist Realist and not gotten an American education that permitted and encouraged free expression, the paintings we see here would not, stylistically speaking, have been possible. That the best of them significantly departs from their sources lends double meaning to the titled Promised Land, alluding to both the better life sought by the migrants Lange pictured, and to the stories career Liu achieved after arriving on these shores in 1984 with $20 and a suitcase" - David Roth
San Francisco Chronicle
"The Lange photographs have become so well-known that the people in Liu's paintings seem like old friends, their familiar features recaptured in new portraits and images. It's as though the photographer and her work have been reborn. The Oakland Museum has the Lange archives, and Liu has spent much time there immersed in that work, 'and I talk with her all the time'." - Leah Garchik
San Francisco Chronicle
"It's an artistic risk to take a famous Dorothea Lange picture from the Great Depression and turn it into an oil on canvas. But in the translation, Jung Liu is able to bring unique empathy to Lange's Dust Bowl images, having spent four years working the fields during the Cultural Revolution in People's Republic of China" - Sam Whiting
"Although some may interpret this work's focus on the American Dust Bowl migration a departure from previous work because the subjects are not Chinese, Liu insists that this new work is not a pivot, but a natural extension of her previous work."
"One of the great things about her new Fresno exhibition is the way you can flit back and forth between her earlier days as a student - absorbing the furtive freshness and raw vitality of a rural Beijing - with some of her much more politically pointed works. One of the biggest and most impressive, titled "Modern Time," is based on a banal photograph of a woman daydreaming in a conference room. On the wall behind her are four photographs that used to be found on the walls of schools and public buildings across China: the "four white guys" who helped birth the communist ideology. But Liu offers a subversive twist. She depicts Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin in the style of Van Gogh, giving a post-Impressionist hint of snark to the scene."
"A recent visit to the Palm Springs Museum affirms for me that all artists are immigrants. If not in a literal sense then in a figurative sense, they are strangers to the society surrounding them. In the desert resort city, populated by celebrities in steel houses, the local museum is exceptional. At the moment, it has exhibits by both Ai Wei Wei, the Chinese dissident renowned the world over, as well as Hung Liu, a professor of painting from China who has become a citizen of America."
"The centerpiece of that show, Hung Liu's "Daughter of China, Resident Alien," is a pile of some 200,000 fortune cookies atop tracks that evoke the role of Chinese labor in building American railways. In a large painting based on the artist's green card, she takes the name "Cookie, Fortune." Many of Liu's paintings are derived from photos or propaganda-film stills and dissolve realism into abstraction to represent the evaporation of Marxist-Leninist China and her memories of it."
University California San Diego - http://visarts.ucsd.edu/news/mfa-alumna-hung-lius-show-review-washington-post
White Hot Magazine of Contemporary Art
In a sense, Liu has endeavored to immortalize all her subjects in the work presented here, preserving a part of her own history as well as theirs.
- Megan Abrahams
The Los Angeles Times
Currently enjoying a retrospective at the Palm Springs Museum of Art, Bay Area painter Hung Liu debuts a refreshing new body of work at Walter Maciel ... Her new paintings are portraits of the most humble of flowers—the dandelion—and they are spectacular. Based on photographs taken during a road trip, the paintings are large, square, full-frontal views of the white, starry blooms. Thick brushstrokes radiate energetically from the center, suggesting a dazzling explosion. Other works capture the flowers as they are stripped of their seeds, leaving desiccated stalks. In their simplicity, the paintings subtly convey themes Liu has been interested in all along: the passing of time, the impermanence and fragility of life.
- Sharon Mizota
Wall Street Journal
The greatest Chinese painter in the U.S. …
Many contemporary painters struggle to get history into their work without looking pretentious or ideologically motivated. But big events of the late 20th century weighed so heavily on the life of Oakland painter Hung Liu that she might have found it difficult to keep history out of her work. - Kenneth Baker
It’s easy to marvel at how Liu’s mix of abstraction and realism draw us into the past. Yet virtuosity alone doesn’t explain the emotional pull of her painting. So I’ll venture a theory: Since Liu works from photos, her painting process is analogous to the photochemical act of “fixing” an image in the darkroom from which pictures seemingly emerge out of nowhere. Liu performs a kind of psychic translation of that act, supplementing it with lived experience and an extraordinary level of empathy. Result: she can paint from photos and literally “summon ghosts.” - David Roth
Hung Liu is good at summoning ghosts -- from memory and history. She’s an Oakland artist born in China, and "Summoning Ghosts" is the title of a new retrospective of her work at the Oakland Museum of California. - Cy Musiker
The spare aesthetic of the exhibition currently on view at the Mills College Art Museum belies the fullness of the Bay Area artist and educator Hung Liu’s major concern: history. - Ellen Tani
San Francisco Chronicle/SFgate
In the early 1970s, Hung Liu, who was being trained in the strict Social Realist style required of Chinese artists at the time, surreptitiously made small landscape paintings that contained no images of Chairman Mao, heroic soldiers or happy peasants. She hid them under her bed to dry. - Jesse Hamlin
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