March 11 – 17 2013 is the final week for art lovers to come see the large-scale Hung Liu art installments at Mills College Art Gallery, 5000 McArthur Blvd in Oakland, CA. This weekend only witness the dance performance “Haunting” by Molissa Fenley and Peiling Kao at the Gallery. Both the exhibit and the performance are free and open to the public, but seating is limited. Performances are 6pm and 7pm Saturday, March 16, 2013 and 4pm and 7pm on Sunday, March 17, 2013.
Entering the gallery, “Jui Jin Shan (Old Gold Mountain) (1994)” is quite prominently displayed in the center of the first room of the exhibit. Intersecting railroad tracks sit beneath a conical pile of 2000 fortune cookies extending towards the ceiling to a height above the viewer’s eye level.
Art is displayed on every wall. “Hao Yin (Good Luck) (2012) is a series of twenty-one square panels. Arranged from top to bottom, right to left, each gold leaf covered panel is painted with images of fortune except for the final one.
The hardwood floors of the museum and the “Jui Jin Shan (Old Gold Mountain)” exhibit’s cookies exude a faintly inviting scent of aromatic oil, and the golden brown cookies enwrap the splintering wood and rusting I-beams of the railroad ties. This is just one aspect of the exhibit that invites public interaction.
“Tai Cang—Great Granary” sits in the center of the second room.
Dr. Stephanie Hanor, Director of the Mills College Art Museum tells of Liu's process in creating the exhibit "Tai Cang—Great Granary consists of 34 antique dou, a traditional Chinese food container and unit of measure. Each dou contains grain, cereal, or dried produce from each of the 34 provinces of China and are arranged as a map of the country. Hung and I purchased much of the produce and grain from a locally-owned produce store on MacArthur Blvd. in the Laurel District."
The decision to purchase grains for the site-specific exhibit symbolizes the deep connection both the artist and the museum share with the community. The placement of the containers center, on the floor, with ample space to walk between them, gives the viewer an incredible sense of being a part of the exhibit while walking among the containers.