Photo by Carlotta Mohamed/QNS
World-renowned Taiwanese artist Lin Shih-Pao (c.) with supporters and staff from Crystal Windows at The Tree of Hope lighting ceremony on Feb. 4

In honor of the Lunar New Year and with baseball season right around the corner, the Crystal Foundation and world-renowned Taiwanese artist Lin Shih-Pao unveiled the latest art exhibit on Monday — The Tree of Hope, paying homage to the sport of baseball.

Sponsored by the Crystal Foundation, supporters gathered on Feb. 4 for the Tree of Hope lighting ceremony at Crystal Windows Headquarters and factory at 31-10 Whitestone Expwy. The Tree of Hope is a 25-foot-tall structure with an 8-foot diameter base made entirely of 25,000 new and recycled baseballs from around the world.

“As a longtime supporter of the arts, I am very pleased to sponsor The Tree of Hope and its creator and artist, Lin Shih-Pao,” said Crystal Foundation Chairman Thomas Chen, who is also chairman and founder of Crystal Windows. “I feel the true hidden value of this contemporary work is the incredible international response to Lin’s invitation to donate baseballs to the project.  Thirty countries from around the world are represented here in the spirit of unity and hope, and its lighting ushers in the Lunar New Year.”

Professional US teams — the New York Mets, Yankees, Phillies, and the Orioles — donated baseballs for the project, along with teams from Canada, Central America, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Europe and many more. Some of the baseballs are signed by legends and the entire team.

“Sports and the arts, both consisting of passion and beauty, break the boundaries between races, languages and cultures,” said Lin, who brings brilliant works of art to life from recycled materials. “This project is not just about the collection of baseballs. This project symbolizes the ultimate art that lies within baseball, the power to bring people together.”

Taiwanese artist Lin Shih-Pao

Lin’s Lunar New Year Creation of recyclable MetroCards features the 2019 Year of the Pig (l.) and 2018 Year of the Dog (r.)

Symbolizing the unity and positive energy that art and sports bring to the world, The Tree of Hope project has been two years in the making from concept to installation, according to Lin.

“The tree brings brightness, happiness and joy,” said Lin. 

Lin’s goal is to acquire support and funds from baseball associations, sports associations, sports brands, and advertising agencies around the world to pass on The Tree of Hope spirit in their “Light the World” plan.

“Baseball has brought people together since the late 14th century,” said Lin. “Now, with baseball returning to the 2020 Summer Olympics Games in Tokyo, it has established its global status once again.”

Attendees sign baseballs for Lin’s next creation: a baseball wreath

First, the The Tree of Hope will light up various baseball stadiums in the U.S., said Lin. After leaving the U.S., the tree will go to Asia into the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, where their trip to light the world will be complete. 

“Your penny can help us raise funds to light the world,” said Lin. “There are many works of art on sale which will contribute to this project. We are also seeking volunteers for our light the world plan.”

Lin is also the artist-in-residence at Crystal Park, Thomas Chen and The Crystal Foundation’s 200-acre art and nature reserve in Dutchess County. Lin has exhibited extensively throughout Japan, Taiwan and New York. He attended art school in Japan and graduate school at New York University.

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