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A Chinese Original

Liu Shiming was one of China’s most accomplished sculptors.  Liu (1926-2010) spent a lifetime absorbing China’s cultural traditions and expressing them in his own delightful way.  His work is well known in China but has never been presented in the West — until now. This display is part of a globally traveling exhibition organized by the Central Academy of Fine Arts.

The 57 sculptures here cover Liu’s full career of more than half a century. As you will see, Liu’s favorite subject was people—laborers, parents, infants.  “When we lose people and the human spirit, art loses its soul,” he once said. To truly understand China’s people, he left Beijing early in his career to live and work in the provinces. He immersed himself in the people and their customs. Then he recreated those lives through sculpture, guided by ancient Chinese art styles. Although he was formally trained in art and carefully studied Rodin, Liu’s own work owes more to the Han dynasty (206 BC–220 AD) than to the western art trends popular during his lifetime.


This display is divided into four parts, starting with “Innocence”. Liu loved sculpting small children—and seeing the world through their eyes. The “Roots” section shows Liu’s reverence for his predecessors; he got the ideas for many of the pieces while working for seven years in artifact restoration at the National Museum of Chinese History.  “Working” reflects the importance he placed on ordinary laborers and a good day’s work. Finally, “Individuals” celebrates people and animals creating and pursuing their own particular lives, just as Liu himself did. 

Hosted by

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

World Trade Center

Central Academy of Fine Arts

Asian Cultural Center U.S.A.

Organized by

Asian Cultural Center U.S.A.

Liu Shiming Sculpture Museum at the Central Academy of Fine Arts

Co-Organized by

PLC Ltd. Inc.

Academic Advisor / Shaojun Wang

Curator / Jenny Roosevelt

Space Design / Yiyi Wang

Graphic Design / Zhaoyi Wang

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