Oakland Exhibit Offers History Lesson

Kelly Pien, Staff Writer

12 of Bevan Vinton’s World History students went to the Oakland Museum on April 18 to visit the “Summoning Ghosts: The Art of Hung Liu” exhibits and the Gallery of California History.

According to freshman Uma Gaffney, the group left campus for the museum at 12:15pm. Parent chaperones drove them to Oakland. Once everyone met up outside the museum, a docent gave them a tour of the art exhibit.

“Summoning Ghosts” was painted by Hung Liu, who experienced many events in Chinese history that World History students study, such as the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. Vinton said, “A lot of her artwork focuses on memories of modern China.”

“We saw different things that she’s painted during her life: the things that she painted in China, as well as the things that she painted in the United States. When she was in China, she wanted to paint things other than propaganda, but she had to do it secretly, so they’re small,” said Gaffney.

The Gallery of California History “had sections for the different decades, so there was a room for the 60s, and a room for the 70s, et cetera. A lot of emphasis was placed on the development of California’s movie industry and how it’s changed over the years,” said Gaffney.

Gaffney’s favorite part of the trip was a series of paintings in the “Summoning Ghosts” exhibit. “There were some paintings she did after the death of her mother. As part of that series, she’s painted about a dozen candles of all different kinds, and they’re really pretty,” Gaffney said. “The candles represented life, and they were very bright. I liked the symbolism and I liked the paintings themselves.”

Vinton decided to take her students to the exhibit when she saw an advertisement for it in a museum member newsletter. According to Vinton, she thought, “Wow! It’s when we were going to be studying China!”