The inaugural class consists of ten emerging artists from across the globe working in mediums including sculpture, performance art, painting, and photography

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, April 17, 2023/EINPresswire.com/ — The Liu Shiming Art Foundation is pleased to announce the very first ten recipients of the Liu Shiming grant. In keeping with the Foundation’s mission—preserving and continuing the legacy of Chinese artist Liu Shiming and advancing the global discourse surrounding the arts, history, and culture—the work of each of these emerging artists is a unique exploration of multiculturalism and our shared humanity. The grant is intended to encourage and support artists who are dedicated to the lifelong pursuit of developing their art and contributing to society.

“While Shiming passed away in 2010, these grants extend his legacy by providing art students and emerging artists with a wonderful opportunity to fulfill their own artistic and scholarly pursuits. The Liu Shiming grant channels Shiming’s great passion for not only sculpture, but all art that captures the scenes and experiences of everyday life. Through these grants and future initiatives, The Liu Shiming Foundation hopes to inspire future generations with his work and story,” says Liu Shiming Art Foundation board member Geoffrey M. Glick.

The Liu Shiming Art Grant is given to young artists who are no longer enrolled in school or students enrolled in institutions outside of the foundation’s partner universities and colleges. This grant is an addition to the Liu Shiming Scholars Funds program which aims to provide 100 scholarships every year to art students worldwide through the seed donations to partner schools. Up to now, the Foundation has set up 39 Liu Shiming Scholars Funds at 32 schools in 12 countries across four continents.

This year’s recipients are incredibly diverse, from their chosen artistic mediums to their geographic backgrounds, cultures and identities. Each artist’s focus is unique and reflective of a wide variety of interests and intentions while representing a commonality of spirit. The 2023 grant winners intend to use their $3,000 grant to examine a range of topics including the exploration of Black identity (Chridinma Dureke), the impact of photography on everyday life (Perri Cohl Hoffman), the influence of New York City’s architecture on human behavior (Melanie Block), the intersection between indigenous African culture and contemporary realities (Ifunanya Madufor), and much more.

For a full description of each recipient’s proposed work and background, please see below:

● Blair Simmons, NYU: Simmons is a queer artist, researcher, storyteller and technician. The artist is exploring the concept of “uselessness” in her work, considering what it means for something to be “useless” and who gets to decide what is useful or not. She has turned this artistic research into a course at NYU called Useless Machines. With support from the Liu Shiming Art Foundation, Simmons plans to organize a student show of the useless machine projects from her course.

● Chidinima Dureke, Frostburg State University: A mixed media artist, Dureke’s work investigates and celebrates Black identity, often through the medium of portraiture. Dureke is requesting funding for an art installation that will showcase her oil paintings and conceptual sculptures exploring the theme of black commodification in mass media and packaged food products in relation to slavery.

● E. Ainsley, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: The artist will use the funds to create an immersive installation of hand-built and cast paper sculptures that explore dreams, memory, and symbols from the collective unconscious. Their work is inspired by the Situationist dérive, a concept involving walking through the city with an open mind, as well as the artist’s personal interest in yoga and Buddhism. Using collage and handmade paper, they create chance encounters through their sculptures and installations, which offer a space for contemplation in a world dominated by a sense of urgency.

● Ifunanya Madufor, Centre for Memories, Enugu/ University of Nigeria, Nsukka: Madufor will proceed with creating a video documentary about African cosmological knowledge to illustrate how aspects of African metaphysics, mysticism and cosmology are reflected in arts, literature and oral narratives. With a strong interest in the history, literature, philosophy, and cosmology of the Igbo culture, they are interested in exploring the intersection between African indigenous knowledge and contemporary realities.

● Kiani Ferris, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art: Inspired by Japanese Buddhist Obo ceremonies and reflexology, the artist’s work uses organic and naturally occurring materials such as rice, clay, glass, and plaster to create sculptures and drawings that communicate with the earth and intangible spirits. The grant will allow her to create new molds of reflexology objects and increase the scale of their rice pieces, as well as fund a new performance piece called Sword Mountain, which will incorporate dance, spoken word, and the activation of kenzan objects used in Japanese floral arrangement.

● Maya Pollack, New York University: Pollack is an interdisciplinary artist and educator. In her artistic practice and work with students, the question of how we care and empathize is of critical concern. Pollack is currently exploring modes of shifting perspectives, suspending disbelief, and time travel. The grant funds will allow the artist to develop and show a large-scale installation expanding upon her sculpture, Horizon Quilt which will utilize fresnel lenses to invite the public to imagine new ways of viewing the world and people around them.

● Melanie Brock, Indiana University: The artist’s work explores the impact of the built environment in New York City on human behavior, specifically in the transitional zones between public and private spaces. She examines boundaries of architectural development, their influence on behavior, mental health and safety, and the tension, density and physical contact within these zones. The artist plans to use the grant to organize an exhibit of her work in New York City.

● Perri Cohl Hoffman, Rutgers University: Working primarily with photography, video and installation, they are interested in the materiality of photography and its impact on everyday life. The artist plans to produce an exhibition titled “The weightless here” in Fall 2023 at the Blanc Gallery with the support of the grant money. The funds will be used to print and frame six large-scale photographic works and one video projection.

● Sara Elmonshed, Hunter College: The artist plans to create a large-scale sculptural painting series that investigates themes of multiculturalism and femininity in the context of domestic violence victims and the female silent struggle. Influenced by Moorish and Arabic art as well as architecture, her work confronts the silent struggle of women, specifically in the context of intimate partner violence, and the concept of femininity, and aims to contribute to a societal discourse on the treatment of women.

● Wei Luo, Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia: Wei Luo is recognized as one of the most significant pianists of her generation. Wei received the Gilmore Young Artist Award at age 17 in 2018, and was the winner and recipient of the “Salon de Virtuosi” Career Grant in New York at age 16. In 2019 her self-titled debut album was released on Universal Music. With help from the Liu Shiming grant, Luo plans to launch an immersive art exhibition exploring the dilemmas, contradictions, and choices of our generation through the fusion of different media, creating artworks that depart from the traditional concert stage.

Stay tuned for news and information about events and exhibits featuring the work of these grant winners.

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 the creation of all forms of art and multicultural study. The Foundation’s goals are to foster a greater understanding and appreciation of Asian art forms and to contextualize them within a global purview. Engaging students and artists to conceptualize the creative process by focusing on a multicultural East and West perspective should be fundamental to the human experience. The Foundation aims to create an engaged platform that collectively supports the creation of arts, the study of art history and culture.

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 artworks in local museums, inspired Shiming to focus on everyday scenes in his works, becoming a common theme of Shiming’s 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’s 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.

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

Luka Lee
Liu Shiming Art Foundation
+1 917-605-0098
[email protected]


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