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Liu Shiming

Liu Shiming (1926-2010) was a revered Chinese artist whose works have had a distinct impact on the course of modern Chinese sculpture. Born in Tianjin in 1926, Shiming attended the prestigious Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, graduating in 1951. He was among the first generation of sculptors trained by the People’s Republic of China, and notably received early recognition for his work. Shiming’s student project Measuring Land (1950) was the first sculpture sent abroad for exhibition after the founding of the People’s Republic of China, ultimately becoming part of the permanent collection of the Czech National Museum. Shiming continued to make monumental heroic sculptures culminating with a 13-foot sculpture Cutting through Mountains to Bring Water which is still standing today. Around 1960 Shiming secured permission to move to the countryside of Henan and Hebei provinces, where he lived and worked among the peasants and villagers, gaining a unique perspective on local life, spirit, and folklore. This time outside of Beijing also facilitated his close handling of ancient art works in local museums, further inspiring Shiming's humanist philosophy of artmaking, a fusion of ancient Chinese traditions with modern sensibilities. Shiming retired in 1974, returning to Beijing where he continued to make art for the rest of his life. 

Liu Shiming's art has been displayed in prominent galleries and institutions across the globe, including Mason Gross Galleries at Rutgers University in NJ; the Godwin-Ternbach Museum at Queens College in New York City; and the Isabel Bader Centre Gallery at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada; among many others. His work is in the permanent collections of the American University in Cairo, Egypt; Macaulay Honors College in Manhattan; Georgia State University in Atlanta; and a major piece will be installed on Roosevelt Island late next year. In 2018, the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing founded the Liu Shiming Sculpture Museum, dedicated to presenting, researching and investigating Liu Shiming's artworks and their historical significance.

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