China’s top set designer to visit Kennesaw State

Han Lixun will share experiences designing for opening ceremonies

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Han Lixun

KENNESAW, Ga. (February 20, 2013)Han Lixun, one of China’s top set designers and art directors, will visit Kennesaw State University in March as part of a tour of several U.S. universities. Lixun was the chief designer and art director for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Opening Ceremony, and he will share with students the ins-and-outs of working behind the scenes with some of the most well-known figures in the contemporary art world. Lixun will give a presentation on Tuesday, March 12 at 5 p.m. in the Wilson Building, Room 103, and he will host a question and answer session after his scheduled talk.


Lixun’s presentation will provide students with insight into China’s historical inventions and contemporary culture, including its politics, ethics, aesthetics, technology and world of design. He will discuss ways to meet today’s societal demands in the field of arts, illuminating students with career building skills and strategies. He will also discuss his first-hand experience working on the Beijing Opening Ceremony, including: conceptualization and bidding; material and technical choices; contextualizing the design in a given space and collaborating with architects and engineers; experimentation on mechanical, multi-media and lighting devices; testing the validity of visual modeling; and design elements that were not realized in the ceremony. He will also discuss what has happened and changed in China’s design and tech world since the ceremony.


Lixun graduated from the Stage Art Department of the Shanghai Theatre Academy in 1985, and he later studied Spatial Arts Design at the National Fine Arts Academy in Dusseldorf, Germany. Lixun’s career includes achievements in theatrical design, event design, interior design, theme park design, public art, art installation and site-specific theatre.


2008 Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony

As an artist, Lixun has had solo exhibitions in China’s National Art Gallery; Saarland, Western Germany; Nanjing History Museum and the German Embassy in Beijing. In the field of design, he has worked on dramas, operas, concerts, musicals and, most frequently, grand-opening events throughout China. His most influential work includes the 2008 Beijing Olympic Opening Ceremony, China Symphony Orchestra’s special concert in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the United Nations, Shanghai International Trade Fair’s Beijing Week and the Opening Ceremony of the Fourth East Asian Games.


Most recently, he has worked with pianist Lang Lang and French music composer Alexandre Desplat on a music-visual conversational performance in Paris and Shanghai. He is currently preparing for the opening ceremony of the upcoming 2013 East Asian Games. As a scholar, he has taught at Shanghai Theatre Academy and later lectured at some of China’s best schools such as Nankai University, Tsinghua University and Beijing Dance Academy. His first book, published by Qinghua University Press, is scheduled for release at the end of 2013.


Lixun’s two-week tour of the U.S. will include residencies at the State University of New York at Buffalo, University of Pittsburgh and University of Central Florida, in addition to KSU. He will also participate in meetings with theatrical and theme park designers/technicians as well as participate in a correspondence with a KSU faculty member for her research project. Lixun’s visit is funded by the College of the Arts Global Engagement Grant, Confucius Institute Grant and funds from the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies at KSU. Professor Ming Chen explains, "The residency at KSU by an artist of this international stature will benefit not only our theatre students, but also the institution. It enhances the university’s global engagement initiative and increases the institution’s visibility.”


For more information regarding Han Lixun’s presentation at KSU, please contact Chen at: (770)423-6156 or


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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering more than 90 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing, and a Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the 35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing population of 24,100 students from more than 130 countries.



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