Liu Shiming (1926 - 2010) was a member of Central Academy of Fine Art's first generation of Chinese sculptors. He grounded his work in a Chinese local context, developing a folk art style within the Chinese tradition through ancient modeling methods. In 2018, the Central Academy of Fine Arts established the Liu Shiming Sculpture Museum, which is dedicated to researching and investigating Liu’s artworks and their art historical meaning.
The exhibition, a mini-retrospective of Shiming's work, includes twenty-three sculptures in wood, bronze and ceramic, all on loan from the Liu Shiming Art Foundation in New York City. The exhibition inaugurates the annual Liu Shiming award which is given to a student working in sculptures, ceramics, and three-dimensional art.
Descending the Mountain Together is the title of a wood sculpture Shiming created in 2007-2008. The title stems from an Anhui light opera from the 1990s that was adapted from traditional opera highlights Longing for the Secular Life and Descending the Mountain. The opera tells the story of a young monk and a young nun meeting, getting to know one another, falling in love, and finally escaping their respective compounds and traveling down the mountain to elope. After the play won a prize in 1992, it was broadcast on television often. Liu Shiming watched it many times. This work employs the “person on person” motif, a traditional form of auspicious sculpture in China.