Hung Liu
Golden Glyphs, 2006
Jacquard tapestry
79 x 81 in.
edition of 10
Sold out

The third of Hung Liu’s tapestries with the Magnolia Tapestry Project finds Liu again exploring the medium’s capacity to unite, literally weaving together layers of digitally collaged elements into one harmonious composition. The eponymous figures woven in gold metallic thread are based on sketches from ancient Buddhist cave murals found in Dunhuang, in the Gobi Desert, to which Liu made a forty-day pilgrimage in 1980. In her paintings, Liu primarily uses 19th and 20th century photographs of Chinese laborers and courtesans, which she surrounds with a unique mixture of traditional Chinese symbols, calligraphic flourishes, and dripping veils of linseed oil. Liu’s husband, philosophy professor Jeff Kelley, describes her paintings as an alchemical marriage, in which “the fresh, luscious poetry of the “mineral period” (painting) presses against the dry atrophied plates of the “chemical period” (photography).” Liu’s tapestries, then, are the grandchildren of this marriage. Pixels containing the DNA of those paintings are ‘bred’ with the tapestry medium to produce a new hybrid, in which the singular texture and familiar physical presence of the“textile period” are infused with the precise values of the“digital period.”