Hung Liu, 1994

Father's Day
oil on canvas
with architectural panel
137.2 x 182.9 cm
Collection of Bernice and Harold Steinbaum. Courtesy
Steinbaum Krauss Gallery
© 1994 Hung Liu

Hung Liu was born in 1948, one year before the founding of the People's Republic of China. Liu's father, then a captain in Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist army, was banished to a prison labor camp by Mao Tse-tung's Communist party. After the first six months of her life, the artist never saw her father again while she lived in China. In 1994, as an American citizen, Liu learned that her father was still living on the same labor farm near Nanjing. On Father's Day, 1994, she flew to China. This painting is based on a snapshot taken of Liu and her father the day they met each other for the first time in forty-six years.