Contemporary Chinese opera design

The pursuit of cultural awareness

Authored by: Yi Tianfu , Hongyi Tian

The Routledge Companion to Scenography

Print publication date:  October  2017
Online publication date:  September  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138917804
eBook ISBN: 9781315688817
Adobe ISBN:


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At the 2015 Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space (PQ15), Chinese scenic designer Gao Guangjian was awarded the Gold Medal for Performance Design for his work on the Beijing opera Throughout the Empire All Hearts Turned to Him (National Center for the Performing Arts, Beijing, 2012); his fellow designer Liu Xinglin won the Honorary Award for Performance Design for his design for the Kunqu opera The Peony Pavilion (Beijing Northern Kunqu Opera Theatre, 2014). This was the first time Chinese scenic designers received awards at the Quadrennial. The two award-winning designs made it clear that contemporary Chinese opera design is entering a period of artistic and conceptual change. Contemporary Chinese scenic designers are simultaneously drawing upon and transforming classical artistic elements, employing abstract and uncomplicated approaches.

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