IAS Logo

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Meanings of the Logo

The logo was designed by the world-renowned artist Professor Xu Bing as a gift for the establishment of the institute. The artwork features his distinctive style known as Tianshu (‘Book from the Sky’). We are deeply honoured by Professor Xu and grateful for his generous gift.

The logo is an ingenious work with profound meanings. It is a square red Chinese seal mark in the shape of a traditional eaves tile. The five English letters ‘UMIAS’ are arranged as strokes to form a new Chinese character. This unique and famous Tianshu method explores the fusion of Chinese and Western cultures, and also embodies the harmony between man and nature.

The ‘A’ in the logo resembles a person, signifying the focus of the IAS on humanities. Serving as a foundation in the character, the ‘M’ stands for Macao, the root of the IAS. The ‘S’ and ‘U’ on the top, meaning ‘Studies’ and ‘University’ respectively, symbolise the purpose for which the institute was created. Last but not least, the ‘I’, which refers to ‘Institute’, stands firmly beside the ‘person’, suggesting that the mission of the institute is to provide academic support. Moreover, the seal mark is round on the inside and square on the outside, which relates to the round Heaven and square Earth in ancient Chinese philosophy. The design also illustrates the traditional Chinese thought that human beings stand at the core of heaven and earth. In addition, the circle and square denote respectively the humanistic values of integrity, righteousness, adaptability, and all-embracing.

The logo highlights the IAS’ s commitment to advancing research in humanities and social sciences, nurturing talent and promoting multiculturalism. It also embodies the motto and mission of the university while displaying Macao’s characteristic that Chinese culture serves as the foundation with diverse cultures in coexistence.

Logo Creator

Professor Xu Bing, whose family is from Wenling City of Zhejiang Province, received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Printmaking Department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts of China.

He moved to the US as an honorary artist in 1990. In 2007, he returned to China to become vice president, professor and doctoral supervisor of the Central Academy of Fine Arts and later served as director of its academic committee. At present, he lives and works in Beijing and New York.

His works have been exhibited in numerous important arts institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington, the Spencer Museum of Art in Kansas, the British Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Spain, the Fundació Joan Miró, the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, the Art Gallery of New South Wales,  the National Gallery of Canada, the National Gallery Prague in the Czech Republic and Museum Ludwig in Germany.

Over the years, he has received many honours and awards including the MacArthur Fellowship, which is regarded as the most prestigious individual achievement award in the American arts world, the Japanese Fukuoka Prize, the Artes Mundi Prize, the Lifetime Achievement in Printmaking Award of Southern Graphics Council, an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Columbia University, the title of Andrew Dickson White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University and the International Medal of Arts of the US Department of State.