A Question of Hu: The Narrative Art of Hung Liu From the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation

The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at PSU is pleased to present A Question of Hu: The Narrative Art of Hung Liu From the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation, featuring prints, tapestries, and paintings by the groundbreaking Chinese American artist Hung Liu (1948–2021). The exhibition is on view from August 22 through December 2, 2023, with an opening reception on Thursday, August 24 from 1:00-3:00 PM, at the JSMA at PSU, 1855 SW Broadway, in Portland, Oregon. All events are free to the public.

Hung Liu made highly narrative images that foregrounded workers, immigrants, refugees, women, children, and soldiers in haunting, incandescent portraits that mingle Chinese and Western artistic traditions. Liu was born in Changchun, China, and her childhood and youth coincided with one of the most tumultuous periods in Chinese history. After her arrival in San Diego, California, in 1984, Liu became one of the first Chinese artists to establish a career in the United States. Decades later, she would be justly celebrated for establishing novel frameworks for understanding visual art’s relationship to history by focusing on communities misrepresented and marginalized by official narratives.

Titled A Question of Hu, after China scholar Jonathan Spence’s 1988 book The Question of Hu, the exhibition reintroduces Liu’s remarkable art to the Pacific Northwest, while demonstrating—as few artistic oeuvres can—an expanded view of citizenship in an era of seismic change that is also fundamentally marked by evolving ideas of artistic solidarity and collaboration.

“I feel tremendously lucky to be able to organize an exhibition of Hung Liu’s work at this time,” says Christian Viveros-Fauné. “Her images ennoble their subjects, while reflecting on past and present tales of uprootedness and displacement in ways that make them both familiar and epic.”

“We are so excited to share Hung Liu’s work with our PSU and Portland community. The JSMA at PSU aims to share new perspectives through art, and Hung Liu’s portraits introduce our visitors to new stories, histories, and ideas,” said Maryanna Ramirez, Director of JSMA at PSU.

The exhibition is drawn entirely from the collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation, who has been collecting Hung Liu’s work for over 20 years. During the fifteen-week run of the exhibition, JSMA at PSU will host a variety of free programs including: public exhibition tours, lectures, writing workshops, and a monthly Story Time + Art Activity for families led by Portland-based artist Latoya Lovely. Information on all exhibition events is available on the JSMA at PSU website: pdx.edu/museum-of-art/


This exhibition is curated by Christian Viveros-Fauné, in conjunction with Converge 45 Biennial Program, Social Forms: Art As Global Citizenship.


About the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation

Jordan Schnitzer is a renowned art collector who started collecting contemporary art at age 14. With a collection that exceeds 20,000 works and includes many of today’s leading contemporary artists, it has grown to be one of the country’s largest and finest private collections—particularly famous for its expansive collection of prints and multiples. His foundation, the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, generously lends works to qualified institutions and has organized more than 160 exhibitions of art from his collections, which have been exhibited in over 120 museums. To learn more about the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, please visit jordanschnitzer.org


About Converge 45

Converge 45 is a non-profit arts organization that produces a Contemporary Arts Biennial in Portland, Oregon. In collaboration with a dynamic community of artists, organizations, galleries, corporate partners, alternative venues and a guest curator, Converge 45 develops a city-wide exhibition across the metropolitan area every two years. The biennial intersects regional, national and international perspectives around art and the futures it seeks. Outside of the biennial program, the organization works in continued collaboration with community partners to build strength and resiliency within the Portland arts ecosystem.

Organized by writer and curator Christian Viveros-Fauné, Social Forms centers on the idea of art-as-a-social-form: contemporary and historical artworks that take the measure of their era in order to respond directly to the challenges of their time. Grounded in the current socio-political landscape as well as in regional and global histories, this expansive exhibition asks us to consider global power shifts taking place in contemporary society. Social Forms: Art as Global Citizenship is designed to promote increased citizenship during a period of political polarization and retrenchment of civil liberties—where citizenship is a term used not to denote privileged political status but to propose a more inclusive category of belonging in the world. For more information about Converge 45, please visit converge45.org


About JSMA at PSU

Located in downtown Portland on the South Park Blocks, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at Portland State University opened in November 2019. By providing free access to rich, inclusive, and interdisciplinary programming, JSMA at PSU creates space for new audiences and seasoned supporters to engage with art and artists while re-imagining the potential for university museums. The museum provides free admission year-round to all visitors.


Museum Hours:

Tuesday: 11 am – 5 pm

Wednesday: 11 am – 5 pm

Thursday: 11 am – 7 pm

Friday: 11 am – 5 pm

Saturday: 11 am – 5 pm

Sunday: Closed

Monday: Closed 

Address: Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at PSU, 1855 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201

Information is available online at www.pdx.edu/museum-of-art/


Image: Hung Liu (American, born China 1948-2021), Dandelion 12A, 2015, oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches Collection of Jordan D. Schnitzer, Image: Aaron Wessling Photography, © Hung Liu Estate/Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York

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