Hung Liu

Hung Liu will be joining us at the Art of Painting in the 21st Century! Her painting Grandfather Liu & His Qian Shan Friends will be on display March 7th through April 7th, and she will do a demonstration Saturday, March 31st from 4:00 – 5:00 pm.

Hung Liu grew up under the Maoist regime and experienced the Great Leap Forward as well as the Cultural Revolution. She was born in Changchun, China in 1948, a year before the creation of the People’s Republic of China. She was trained as a social realist painter and muralist. Armed with a sturdy foundation, she decided to move to the States and earn her MFA at the University of California, San Diego in the 1980s. She went on to become faculty at Mills College in 1990 and she continues to work and thrive as a tenured professor in the Art Department.

Liu is one of the most revered Chinese Painters working in the United States today.  Her work meditates on the connection between memory and history, among other themes. Her detailed paintings express the interactions between documented evidence and artistic expression.  By utilizing vintage photographs as her references, she revives the memory of people who have been lost in the sweep of history. These mysterious, richly-layered, figurative portraits express multifarious references to history and culture. Hung Liu has a gift of creating atmospheres within her work. They tell stories and suggest a deeper background that remains invisible to the viewer. Oftentimes, the photos are of prostitutes; they are extremely rare as they were made in limited editions to distribute to patrons. Her stylized depictions of these women portray them in a similar vein as historical figures. The photorealism she applies to her work is tempered by her technique of diluting paint with licensed oil. She drips this mixture upon the portraits, which results in a blurring, distorting effect. The paintings feel like a memory and, like memories, they will continue to fade and change over time. Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to view these time capsules and see one of the top Chinese-American painters of our time.

John Toki Installation Video

The John Toki installation lasted from 8 am until well into the night on January 28th. Judd Takai, son of Glen Takai, documented the tiring process with his video camera. What resulted is a 9-minute short film featuring time lapse scenes and activity of John Toki himself. His team was professional and dedicated to putting together a show that features over 15 enormous sculptures. With the help of a forklift and dedicated gallery employees thousands of pounds of ceramics were able to be installed without a hitch. The video presents conversation between John Natsoulas and John Toki, providing insight into the artist-owner relationship. It is playing 24/7 on the West face of the gallery in the museum window for passerby to enjoy. The exhibit will be up until March 3rd; don’t miss this incredible opportunity!


Toki Book Cover

Dance Performance March 10th!

Excitement is rising as the Linda Bair Dance Company performance approaches! These Davis locals collaborate in a company founded in 1998 right here in our very own Davis Arts Center.  Linda Bair teaches modern dance in a troupe committed to creating and performing works of high cultural significance that inspire conversations about the human experience and self-expression. Their main directive is to engage and educate the audience so feel free to bring kids and friends to engage in audience/artist discourse. This provides an interactive experience to understand the kinetic, imaginative and intellectual aspects of dance from professionals. The Linda Bair Dance Company enlivens the everyday experience through dance. Don’t miss this opportunity to experience this performance with us!


Date: March 10

Time: 7:00-9:00 pm

Admission: Free

Location: John Natsoulas Gallery


Back to Top