Toronto Through My Lens


Outside the Toronto Shangri-La Hotel at 188 University Avenue, there is a curious sculpture constructed of stainless steel. This piece is entitled Rising by Shanghai-based artist Zhang Huan, and was unveiled in May 2012.

Zhang Huan conceived Rising as a philosophical reflection of the world around us. The polished stainless-steel sculpture consists of countless doves, the international symbol of world peace, and a twisted tree branch that resembles the body of a dragon.

The sculpture draws an analogy to the fragile conditions facing our planet. Zhang Huan seeks to convey the message that humans can exist in harmony with nature, and that, if this delicate balance is struck, our cities will become better places to live. The artist remarks:

… through the monster-shaped tree, I would like to advocate the protection of ecology, and the harmonious relationship between humans and nature. The doves in the tree symbolize the peace of the world and my wish is for beautiful city life to be shared by mankind and nature.

Realized in two parts, the large-scale exterior sculpture  permanently resides at the entrance to the hotel and a second component extends indoors, gracing the walls of the hotel’s lobby. Rising took Zhang Huan two years to complete in his studio in Shanghai. The sculpture is his first public art commission in Canada.


  1. David

    Love this. The first time I saw it, I was kind of mesmerized. A welcome addition to our city.

  2. Despina

    Ha, I walked right past this and went inside to the SPA. Next time I will take a better look!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2024 TO Cityscapes

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

Subscribe to TO Cityscapes

Subscribe to TO Cityscapes

Join my mailing list to receive an email alert when I publish a new post.

You have successfully subscribed! Check your email for further info.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!