San Francisco

Hung Liu

Capp Street Project

Hung Liu is a Chinese artist who now lives in Texas. She received formal training first in her native country during the Mao regime and recently in the conceptualist-oriented graduate program at the University of California, San Diego. “Chineseness,” in one form or another, but especially in its migrant forms, is the basic theme of the two installations she did at separate sites here. The more general themes are movement and difference—especially the difference, say, between being Chinese in China and in America, or between immigrants’ anticipations of wealth and the fake gold leaf on Chinese-American temple money.

All movement passes through, or perhaps ends in, difference: as Liu says, “Everybody is some kind of alien.” The larger of her works, Resident Alien, 1988, dealt elegantly with points of brittle cross-cultural distinction. Around an empty, L-shaped office space she assembled

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