In Conversation: Artists Consider Dorothea Lange

Thursday, June 18, 2020, 1–1:45 pm
Thursday, June 18, 2020 - 1:00pm

Learn about the ways in which Dorothea Lange’s photography has inspired and shaped contemporary artists and thinkers with this special digital program. Join Bay Area artist Hung Liu, one of the most prominent Chinese painters working in the United States today, and photographer and videographer, Paul Kitagaki Jr., whose grandparents were photographed by Lange in 1942, in a discussion led by OMCA’s Curator of Photography and Visual Culture Drew Johnson. Learn about Lange’s photographs in the Gallery of California Art as part of a new installation Dorothea Lange: Photography as Activism, meet the artists and gain insight into their artistic practices, and connect with stories from across time and communities.  


Hung Liu
Born in Changchun, China, in 1948, a year before the creation of the People's Republic of China, Hung Liu lived through Maoist China and experienced the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. Trained as a social realist painter and muralist, she came to the United States in 1984 to attend the University of California, San Diego, where she received her MFA. One of the first people from mainland China to study abroad and pursue an art career, she moved to northern California to become a faculty member at Mills College in 1990, where she is now Professor Emerita. She has continued to live and work in the Bay Area. Her work has exhibited internationally at premier museums and galleries, and her work resides in prestigious private and institutional collections around the world.

Paul Kitagaki Jr. 
San Francisco Bay Area native Paul Kitagaki Jr. has traveled the world covering natural and human-caused disasters. His work has been honored with dozens of photo awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, and been nominated for Emmys. He’s been published in news outlets worldwide, including National Geographic, Time, Smithsonian Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Stern, People, Mother Jones, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post, as well as in his home paper, The Sacramento Bee.  His project Gambatte! Legacy of an Enduring Spirit documents and illuminates a dark episode in our country's history, the relocation and internment of more than 120,000 ethnic Japanese Americans. A national traveling exhibition appearing at the Smithsonian and in cities throughout the country, Kitagaki has spent the last 15 years locating the families who lived through the internment camps, documenting their stories of survival and inner strength to overcome injustice, racism, and wartime hysteria. His award-winning book Behind Barbed Wire, Searching for Japanese Americans Incarcerated during WWII has won an Independent Book Publisher Peacemaker Award gold medal and an International Photography Awards Professional Documentary book. In 2014, he was featured in the PBS film American Masters – Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning, on the life and times and the woman whose work sparked his own journey.