Beijing Global Gateway helps secure crucifix from Chinese Artist Dao Zi

Author: Colleen Wilcox

Screenshot 2023 03 11 At 10
Dao Zi is pictured with Jingyu Wang from the BGG

The Crucifix Initiative at the University of Notre Dame is adding a new addition to its collection. Dao Zi, a well-known Chinese artist who recently retired from the Academy of Arts & Design at Tsinghua University, donated his latest piece “Crucifixion on the Red Cross” to Notre Dame.

Through his work, Dao Zi depicts Christian stories through contemporary Chinese painting styles. The Crucifixion on the Red Cross emphasizes and exaggerates the proportions of the holy nails. The painting was inspired by an expedition to Shimenkan Village, Guizhou province in 2009.

“It is undoubtedly an honor to have the University of Notre Dame include my work in its research and development program and to display it permanently,” says Dao Zi.

“It has encouraged me to be convinced that spiritual art is the fruit of the Holy Spirit, that love never ceases, and that art rooted in truth is no different.”

Staff at Notre Dame’s Beijing Global Gateway (BGG) worked with Christine Cox from the Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies to obtain the art work in 2022. Jingyu Wang, the director of the BGG, adds that Dao Zi’s Christian-themed artwork is easy to understand in both Chinese and western cultural context.

“The academic donation will bring a Chinese perspective to the Notre Dame community, which will greatly enrich our artistic collections and internationalize the campus,” says Wang.

Dao Zi’s work is being featured in August at the South Bend History Museum.

Launched in 2019, Notre Dame’s Crucifix Initiative reinforces the universalism of Catholicism and the internationalism of Notre Dame through an expanding collection of crucifixes from artists around the world. In the coming years, the program aims to augment the crucifixes in University classrooms and buildings. Several unique pieces from Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Australia have already been installed on campus.

Learn more about the Crucifix Initiative