Fred Liang

Boston, MA

This series of drawings, “River of Smoke”, is based on Amita Ghosh’s trilogy (Sea of Poppies, River of Smoke, and Flood of Fire) which interweaves the tales of the Opium Wars between China and Britain.  The drawings were initially conceived while as the Edward E. Elson Artist-in-Resident at the Philips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, while I was preparing for my exhibition at the Addison Gallery of American Art entitled, “Convergence”.  The idea for the exhibition is to show how cultures are inextricably connected in the most unlikely ways, in this case, connecting India, China, and the West, all in the name of free-flowing of commerce and capitalism.  The Opium Wars became militarized aggression toward China by the western powers during the Qing Dynasty—ironically justified both politically and morally by Adam Smith’s Moral Sentiments, the invisible hands. The British used opium, found in their newly acquired land, India, to sell to China as a means of balancing the trade deficits between the two countries.  To create these drawings, I wanted to utilize elements that were both ephemeral and symbolic, thus smoke and fire became the sole mediums to creating these drawings.

Fred H. C. Liang received a BFA from the University of Manitoba, and an MFA from Yale University. His honors include Massachusetts Cultural Council Arts Grants in both painting, printmaking, and works on paper. Liang’s work is in numerous public and private collections, including Fidelity, the Gund Collection, Addison Museum of American Art, and the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University.  He exhibited his work at the Currier Museum of Art in NH, Inside Out Museum in Beijing, and the ICA, Boston. Liang's most recent exhibitions include the Milwaukee Art Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Addison Museum of American Art in Massachusetts, XC.HuA Gallery in Berlin and Jerez de la Frontera Gallery at University of Cadiz.  He just completed a residency at the Museo de Arte Contemporary in Sandiago de Chile and the Swatch Art Peace Hotel in Shanghai, China.  His work was recently interviewed by Huffington Post, WBUR Open Studio and reviewed in The Boston Globe.

Liang is a professor at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston, Massachusetts, where he is the Coordinator of the Printmaking Department.

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