Hung Liu, Red Wash, 2006. Iris printon film cast resin, oil paint, silkscreen, wooden box, 37” x 34″x 1 7/8”, Courtesy of the artist.
To “come full circle” means to come back to where one has been before. Whether that place is special, thematic, or emotional, it is never the same as before. Hung Liu paints circles on the surface of her finished canvases. Appearing as symbols of eternal returns, the circles stand not for a specific thing, but for something above or beyond the elements in her paintings. Circles symbolize eternity in Chinese philosophy, and in Chinese writing they punctuate the end of sentences,like periods. Liu’s circles appear as signatures, jotted over painterly tableaus—as if the artist sent us a letter from China, long ago.