On Saturday, May 21st, 2022, Sculpting the Chinese Spirit: Vitality in Stillness, featuring works by Liu Shiming, opened at Gallery RIVAA. It’s significant because, for the first time, a museum in China lent its work for exhibit on Roosevelt Island.
by David Stone
Sculpting the Chinese Spirit: Vitality in Stillness
In a cultural breakthrough, Island of Art anchor RIVAA recognized the changing character in the community. The Asian population is booming, and this exhibit is all Asian. And on a hot Saturday afternoon, appreciation for a significant Chinese artist was everywhere in the gallery.
Liu Shiming on Art
“I think that sculpture should be focused on people and the depiction of people, because people are social beings and creators of art. When we lose people and the human spirit, art loses its soul.
“Chinese methods and Western methods are different, and I was determined to return to Chinese methods. Chinese methods revere spontaneity, but also stress regularity. You must observe closely and imprint things in your memory, but when you start, you can’t be a stickler; you must simply let loose.” — Liu Shiming
About Liu Shiming
Liu Shiming was born in Chongqing in 1951. After graduating from Sichuan Fine Arts Academy in 1974, he worked at the Sichuan Art Museum. In 1984, he went to study at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, where he became a student of Wu Zuoren and Li Keran.
After graduation, he began teaching at the Central Academy of Fine Arts. He is now a professor and vice-chairman of the China Sculpture Institute, as well as dean of the School of Sculpture at Beijing Union University.
His work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions both in China and abroad, and his sculptures can be found in public and private collections around the world.
Liu Shiming’s sculpture is based on a deep understanding of Chinese culture, with a focus on the human figure.
His work reveals the relationships between people and their environment, as well as the harmony between humanity and nature. He often uses humor and irony to express his ideas, and his work has a strong emotional impact.
Liu Shiming died on October 8, 2018.
Liu Shiming’s Legacy
Liu Shiming’s work will continue to inspire future generations of Chinese artists. His unique approach to sculpture, which combines traditional Chinese techniques with a modern sensibility, has helped to define the current state of Chinese art.
Liu Shiming’s work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions both in China and abroad, and his sculptures can be found in public and private collections around the world.
The opening of this exhibition is a significant event not only for Roosevelt Island but for the entire New York City area. It is an opportunity to learn about and appreciate the work of one of China’s most important contemporary artists.
RIVAA is located at 527 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York City.
About Gallery RIVAA
The Roosevelt Island Visual Art Association (RIVAA) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit arts organization dedicated to promoting the works of emerging and underrepresented artists, with a focus on those from Roosevelt Island and the surrounding community.
The collective envisions a world where everyone has access to the arts and where art is an integral part of everyday life.
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