Hung Liu, 1995

The Ocean is the Dragon's World
oil on canvas, architectural
panel, birdcage
243.8 x 208.3 x 45.7 cm
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum Purchase in part through the William R. and Nora H. Lichtenberg Endowment Fund. Courtesy
Steinbaum Krauss Gallery
© 1995 Hung Liu


This painting of the Empress Dowager Ci Xi (1835 - 1908), great-aunt of Pu Yi, the last emperor of China, is part of a recent series of works by Hung Liu devoted to the Qing Dynasty, the last Chinese dynasty. Other works from the series displayed in this gallery are Five Eunuchs and Baby King. Like these two paintings, The Ocean is the Dragon's World was inspired by a photograph now in the collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing.