Take Off 2008
Hung Liu was a Bay Area artist whose signature painterly style is one that allows the paint to drip across the image. In this work, the boy’s outstretched arms mirror the startled bird’s spreading wings, making it a metaphor for the ancient human aspiration towards flight. Like wings themselves, the two smaller panels depict birds from the Song Dynasty, one taking off, and one perched. From ancient times, Chinese artists have depicted birds in paintings and poetry because they represent messengers from the past who convey blessings on the present, and thus upon our own winged journey today.