Cancellation of China Exhibition
As of November 14, 2019, Hung Liu's planned exhibition in Beijing was canceled by the Beijing municipal Bureau of Culture. Originally scheduled to open on December 6th at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA), "Hung Liu: Passers-by," did not receive the necessary government approvals to import the work to China. In essence, the Beijing government censored Hung's entire exhibition.
The reasons for this are unclear, since the process for seeking approvals from Chinese officials is itself opaque. Moreover, they don't tell you why, expecting not to be questioned. Probably, it relates to the history of 20th century ideological struggle embodied in Hung's work. Ten years ago, the representation of that struggle - the human faces of it - would have been, if not entirely welcomed in China, at least permissible. History was still opening up.
The atmosphere is tightening in China. In the past five years, a kind of consumer society pop cultural revolution has stilled the winds of change. This is the era of Xi Jinping thought. Artists are now being cautioned that their works must serve the state - ie, the Party - by reflecting the realities of common people, not global elites or art world esthetes.
Today, young Chinese art fans can still see innovative, conceptual, performative, experimental works from around the globe, but not, apparently, paintings that change socialist realism into humanist realism. And yet, those young people, the audience UCCA was hoping to engage with Hung's paintings, are also among the most passionate patriots of this newly nationalized society. In this era of Chinese material wealth, digital prowess, economic power, fading history, and "student information officers" who "keep tabs on their professors' ideological views," it sometimes seems like nothing is possible in China, after all.
Attached below are links to recently published articles about the cancellation of Hung's show in the New York Times, Art News, The Art Newspaper, Artnet, and Artsy, and following that is a letter by the artist.
Dear Friends –
The cancellation of my Beijing show came not totally as a surprise, but in some way, my worst prediction came true.
Since I was offered a show by the wonderful Phil Tinari, director of the Ullens Center of Contemporary Art (UCCA) in Beijing, we've been working on the exhibition checklist. The curator Ms. Shixuan Luan visited us in early May. Everything seemed on track and to be moving forward.
There are so many of you who have decided to lend my work from your collections, allowing it to cross the Pacific. I was moved by the strong support from my individual collector friends, as well as from such museums as the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, the San Jose Museum of Art, the Oakland Museum of California, and SFMOMA. There are also quite a few friends who have since purchased airplane tickets, booked hotels, and geared-up for a big opening and banquet in Beijing on December 6th. I've contacted some well-known artist friends in Beijing, arranged studio visits, and exciting gatherings.
Two weeks ago, while we were in New York, we heard that nine paintings were rejected by the Beijing municipal Bureau of Culture. At that time, we thought this was the final decision. We still believed it could be still a strong show. Weeks passed, but UCCA never received the final permit by the head of the Bureau of Culture.
It triggered many terrible memories for me. I was forced to walk down memory lane to recall the first half of my life in China. When Cultural Revolution started in 1966, it was a war against culture. All non-proletarian values would be wiped out entirely - western ideology, literature, art, and music. I remember a huge mountain of books burning for days in front of the Cultural Ministry building.
Needless to say, this is not simply a disappointment. I don't have to have a show in China, but hoped that it might be a great way to share my work with my many long-term Chinese artist friends, including many artists younger than me. In China, only very few artists turning seventy (I am about to turn 72) are still active, especially women. So I was impassioned about this show in my once hometown of Beijing.
I am a survivor. I've survived the Cultural Revolution and countryside re-education. I will definitely survive this new age Bureau of Culture. I never thought that my work had such power to require censorship, which maybe is a badge of honor. Still, I am sad this has happened.
Since this news broke, I have received overwhelming support. I would like to use the opportunity to send my deepest appreciation and gratitude to all of you who have supported me, loved me, and been with me for all these years.
Hung Liu: The Long Way Home
THE GRACE MUSEUM
102 Cypress Street, Abilene, TX, 79601
SEPTEMBER 7, 2019 – FEBRUARY 22, 2020
Hung Liu is known for masterful recreations of historical Chinese photographs. Her subjects over the years have been Chinese refugees, street performers, soldiers, laborers, and prisoners, among others. Liu challenges the documentary authority of the appropriated photographs by reconstructing the narrative through a variety of media. Liu’s initially training in the Socialist Realist style of the Maoist regime is evident in the figures borrowed from the past and presented in a style that resonates with a narrative that is personal as well as universal. The expressive quality of Liu’s artwork is derived from layers of wash that frequently dissolves the original intent of documentary images, suggesting the passage of memory into history, while working to reveal the cultural and personal circumstances of the subjects. Liu studied mural painting as a graduate student at the Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing, and in 1984 fled the Maoist regime and immigrated to the US.
Hung Liu: The Long Way Home is a solo exhibition of the recent work of Chinese-born American contemporary artist, Hung Liu in a variety of media including mixed media, resin, tapestry, oil and works on paper
Hung Liu Solo Exhibition
ULLEN CENTER FOR CONTEMPORARY ART
798 Art District
No. 4 Jiuxianqiao Rd.
Opening December 2019- More information to follow.
Hung Liu Retrospective
SMITHSONIAN NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY
Opens May 2021 - More information to follow.
Heraclitus III—A Mini Journey by Tony Foster
PRESENTED AT THE YALE CENTER FOR BRITISH ART IN NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT
MAY 30–AUGUST 25, 2019 AS PART OF
TONY FOSTER: WATERCOLOR DIARIES, CORNWALL TO COLORADO
Heraclitus III has recently been acquired by the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, Connecticut. A mini journey of Tony Foster’s art, this is a series of six paintings which comprise one artwork. It was executed in 2017 on Tony’s most recent painting expedition to the Grand Canyon.
The title of the Yale acquisition Heraclitus III was inspired by the famous philosopher’s statement that “no person ever steps in the same river twice.” Tony reflects that as a river is an ever-changing body so too are humans, and this series of paintings represents his third experience rafting down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.
To showcase the acquisition and in honor of Tony’s long relationship with the Yale Center, he will be the subject of a small exhibition, Tony Foster: Watercolor Diaries, Cornwall to Colorado, presented at the Yale Center from May 30–August 25, 2019. Curated by Duncan Robinson, former director of the Yale Center for British Art and the Fitzwilliam Museum and Elisabeth Fairman, Chief Curator of Rare Books & Manuscripts at the Yale Center, the exhibition will include artworks from Tony’s first exhibition in the United States in 1985, which was at the Yale Center for British Art, as well as work painted in 2018 for an upcoming major project on Time.
June 8, 2019, 2 p.m. | From Death Valley to Everest: Making Art in Wild Places Tony Foster will discuss his many adventures over the years as an artist-explorer, explaining why he cares so deeply about the remaining uncultivated regions of our endangered planet.
Exploring Idaho’s Copper Basin—Tony Foster’s 17th Journey
PRESENTED AT THE GAIL SEVERN GALLERY IN KETCHUM, IDAHO
JUNE 14–JULY 29, AS PART OF TONY FOSTER WATERCOLOUR DIARIES: GREAT BASIN & COPPER BASIN
During the summer of 2018 Tony returned to one of his favored places to paint: Idaho’s Rocky Mountains. Invited to exhibit at Gail Severn Gallery in Ketchum, Idaho in 2019, Tony spent a few weeks wandering and painting in Idaho’s Copper Basin, a wilderness area that is part of the Salmon-Challis National Forest with spectacular views of the Pioneer Mountains.
This exhibition will include 12 new works, which are all for sale, as well as a number of paintings from earlier journeys to Death Valley. A major diptych included in the exhibition, A Walk Across Death Valley (1991), chronicles one of Foster’s most difficult hikes in what is the lowest point of the Great Basin. It will hang alongside a painting of the White Mountains in California, the highest point of the Great Basin.
Tony Foster Watercolour Diaries: Great Basin & Copper Basin is included in a larger project titled Mirage: Energy and Water in the Great Basin, organized by Sun Valley Center for the Arts.
June 20, 2019, 6-7:30 p.m. | The Community Library
Forty Years in the Wilderness
Join acclaimed artist Tony Foster for a look at his art, his process, and how his work in and around the Sun Valley area has influenced his other exhibitions and explorations abroad. This talk will be held at The Community Library in Ketchum, Idaho.
July 5, 2019, 5-8 p.m. | Gallery Walk at Gail Severn Gallery
July 6, 2019, 10 a.m. | Artist’s Talk at Gail Severn Gallery
Artist Residency at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West
WHITNEY WESTERN ART MUSEUM IN CODY, WYOMING
JULY 9–13, 2019
Foster heads to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming, this summer where he will be in residency at the Whitney Western Art Museum from July 9-13th. Foster will be giving daily talks with museum visitors, explaining his approach and process as he works to complete paintings from his time spent on the Green River in Utah.
In late June, just prior to the residency, Foster and a handful of Idaho-based companions will make their way down the Green River from the Gates of Lodore to Split Mountain. During the journey Tony will begin a series of paintings that reflect not only the river as it exists today but also reveal the river as a repository of fifty million year old fossils.
The Buffalo Bill Center of the West is one of the country’s premier institutions presenting, preserving and researching art and artifacts of the American West. This artist residency is organized by Karen McWhorter, Scarlett Curator of Western American Art, at the Whitney Museum.
Artwork from Arid Lands—Tony Foster’s 5th Journey (1996)
PRESENTED AT THE TUCSON MUSEUM OF ART IN TUCSON, ARIZONA
OCTOBER 19, 2019–FEBRUARY 9, 2020 AS PART OF
THE WESTERN SUBLIME: MAJESTIC LANDSCAPE PAINTINGS OF THE AMERICAN WEST
The Western Sublime: Majestic Landscape Paintings of the American West will feature paintings and photographs of the West from the latter half of the 19th century juxtaposed with works produced over a century later. This exhibition explores the intersection and significance of landscape imagery within the context of the time it was created as well as from the lens of the 21st century.
Artworks from Searching for a Bigger Subject—Tony Foster’s 12th Journey (2008)
PRESENTED AT THE MUSEUM OF NORTHERN ARIZONA IN FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA
NOVEMBER 16, 2019–FEBRUARY 17, 2020
SEARCHING FOR A BIGGER SUBJECT
The Museum of Northern Arizona has reunited a majority of the paintings from Foster’s twelfth journey, Searching for a Bigger Subject, and will present it November 16, 2019- February 17, 2020 to honor the centennial anniversary of the Grand Canyon’s designation as a national park.
Searching for a Bigger Subject was first exhibited in 2008, touring from the Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro to the Royal Watercolour Society in London, Gerald Peters Galleries in New York, Dallas and Santa Fe and finally to the Phoenix Art Museum. Foster’s goal was to “contrast the world’s two most powerful subjects—Mt. Everest and the Grand Canyon.” And Foster’s intention then seems as relevant now, more than a decade later: “…despite a world overloaded with imagery, certain places still retain the power to inspire awe and wonder.”
Art Market San Francisco 2019
Fort Mason Center - Festival Pavilion • 2 Marina Blvd.
April 25th through 28th, 2019
Visit Gail Severn Gallery at Booth 219- by the Collector's Lounge
Art Market San Francisco returns to Fort Mason Center from April 25th through 28th for its ninth edition, with seventy-five galleries featuring top modern and contemporary art. Discover and acquire new art, while exploring art trends developing around the globe.
Complimentary VIP Pass from Gail Severn Gallery
The Complimentary VIP Pass provides entry for you and a guest beginning with the VIP Preview on Thursday evening, April 25, and includes admission to the fair all weekend long, including access to the VIP Lounge.
To learn more visit artmarketsf.com
Thursday, April 25, 2019 — 6:00pm to 10:00pm
Friday, April 26, 2019 — 11:00am to 7:00pm
Saturday, April 27, 2019 — 11:00am to 7:00pm
Sunday, April 28, 2019 — 12:00pm to 6:00pm
400 First Avenue North • P.O. Box 1679 Ketchum, ID 83340-1679
208.726.5079 • firstname.lastname@example.org
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