College News

“Dream to Fly” by modern Chinese artist Liu Shiming is permanently on view for students and the public in the lobby of Macaulay Honors College.

Macaulay Honors College at the City University of New York and the Liu Shiming Art Foundation recently held a special installation reception of the sculpture “Dream to Fly”, as well as a panel discussion to honor the work and legacy of renowned Chinese sculptor Liu Shiming. The event took place on April 11th. The highlight of the event was the unveiling of Liu Shiming’s sculpture work “Dream to Fly” which will be permanently displayed at the Macaulay Honors College.

Liu Shiming, a celebrated sculptor who passed away in 2010, made a significant impact on Chinese modern art with his sculptures that focused on people’s everyday life and the human spirit. His works have been exhibited in prominent galleries and spaces across the globe, including exhibitions in Beijing, Washington D.C., and a special exhibition in the main atrium of the Oculus in New York City. The Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, where Liu studied and worked, recognized and celebrated his legacy by establishing the Liu Shiming Sculpture Museum in 2018 to research and investigate Liu’s artworks and their historical significance.

The sculpture “Dream to Fly” made by Liu Shiming depicts a person holding feathered wings, frozen in mid-motion as if they are about to take off and fly. It symbolizes the human desire to defy gravity and take flight, regardless of the risks and challenges involved. Liu created the sculpture as a tribute to his former teacher, Jiang Feng, a prominent Chinese printmaker and art educator. Jiang had played a significant role in Liu’s life by encouraging him to pursue his artistic career, and Liu wished to honor his mentor’s spirit of perseverance and dedication to art. The sculpture captures the essence of Jiang’s character and represents the aspirations of all those who long to soar beyond the confines of their earthly limitations. For Liu Shiming himself, the sculpture symbolizes the aspirations of dreamers who spread their wings, regardless of whether they actually succeeded in taking flight.

The installation of “Dream to Fly” from the foundation as a gift to Macaulay Honors College serves as a valuable addition to the college’s art collection and will inspire students and visitors to contemplate the human spirit’s limitless potential.

About The Liu Shiming Art Foundation
The Liu Shiming Art Foundation is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization which was founded in 2021 to preserve the works of acclaimed Chinese artist Liu Shiming, as well as for the advancement of the global discourse surrounding the arts, history and culture. The Fund aims to support art students and emerging artists by encouraging them to explore all forms of art, and to engage in a multicultural study of art history. Particularly, the Foundation hopes to foster a greater understanding and appreciation of Asian art forms, and to contextualize them within a global purview. Conceptualizing the creative process by focusing on a multicultural East and West perspective was fundamental to Liu Shiming’s identity as an artist, and is consequently a central part of Foundation’s identity. Fostering a sense of inclusiveness, the Liu Shiming Art Foundation hopes to remind artists of their power to create art that transcends time or place.

About Liu Shiming:
Liu Shiming (1926-2010) was a revered Chinese sculptor, whose works have made a distinct impact on the course of modern Chinese sculpture art. Born in 1926, Shiming attended the Central Academy of Fine. As early as 1950, Shiming received international recognition for his work Measuring Land, and thereafter, Shiming continued to make large-scale and publicly displayed sculptures. In the 1960s, Shiming resided in the countryside of Henan and Hebei provinces, where he gained a unique perspective on the working class and rural life. His time outside of the city, and closely handling folk art works in local museums, inspired Shiming to focus on everyday scenes in his works, becoming a common theme of Shiming sculptures. Today, Shiming is recognized for his ability to beautifully capture the most mundane scenes, as well as his aptitude for fusing folk traditions with modern sensibilities.

Liu Shiming works have been displayed in prominent galleries and spaces across the globe, including exhibitions in Beijing, Washington D.C., and most notably a special exhibition in the main atrium of the Oculus in New York City. In 2018, the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing founded the Liu Shiming Sculpture Museum, dedicated to researching and investigating Liu’s artworks and their historical significance.

Discover the inspiring story behind Liu Shiming’s masterpiece, “Dream to Fly,” in this captivating documentary, Dream to Fly – Story behind Liu Shiming’s Masterpiece

For more information on the work of the foundation, head to their website, https://www.lsmartfund.org


Photos provided by the Liu Shiming Art Foundation.