This exhibition features a series of Hung's paintings based on a well-known propaganda film Daughters of China from 1949 that Liu remembers seeing as a child. The film depicts an actual 1938 event in which eight female soldiers fighting the Japanese staged a rear-guard action that allowed the Chinese army to escape. Cut off with their backs against a river, they were coaxed to surrender when the Japanese realized they were women. Rather than capitulate, the eight young soldiers--ranging in age from thirteen to twenty-eight--carried their dying and wounded into the river and drowned.
This beautiful solo exhibition gives fair due to one of the Bay Area’s most significant painters and is organized by legendary curator Peter Selz and Sue Kubly. Hung Liu’s work is widely recognized for social realism combined with drips and gestural smears—these works are based on a 1949 Chinese propaganda film featuring female soldiers who opted to drown rather than capitulate to the enemy.