Hung Liu was born in Changchun, China in 1948 during the communist revolution. After graduating high school, she went to the countryside to work with peasant workers, and eventually her fellow workers became the subject of many of her photographs and drawings. When she returned to school, she majored in mural painting and starred in her own television show titled How to Draw and Paint.
Liu later moved to the United States where she earned an MFA from the University of California San Diego. In her work, she began to combine themes from both Chinese and American culture. Her paintings continue to focus on ideas of culture, gender, and historical identity. She works with large canvases, using linseed oil to create a drippy appearance—commenting on the traditional Chinese Socialist Realist style.