Li Yinan

Latest Topic

First Experience: Ning Li – In Search of the “Changeling” in Tokyo


When the artist Ning Li came to Tokyo, he brought with him the characteristic dustiness of his hometown Jinan, as well as the psychic stress, the discouragement, anger, and resignation of life particular to the current government of China.

For a Chinese national today, “Japan” is no doubt the emblem they know best. The thoughts towards Japan that Chinese people have refer to the war that took place 1937 and 1945. In films and television dramas, the image of the “Onigo” (“changeling”, a pejorative term for the Japanese) has taken society by storm and gradually implanted a stereotype into people’s minds. (In the past, “Onigo actors” were skinny Chinese actors playing the roles as vulgar characters but recently it has been more young Japanese actors who live in China.) Ning Li has been searching for the “Onigo” in Japan, but the only people he could find are people diverse in sensibiltiies and personality, and who have the same human emotions as him. The stereotype he had in his mind has lost its shape. At this point he then developed his concept of “Undoing”.

…read more

Yinan Li

Born in Beijing in 1972. After her graduation from the Peking University (Beijing), she went to New York study theatre at the Columbia University. From 1998 to 2007 she studied and worked in Germany (Hamburg and Munich, Ph.D. awarded in 2007). Since 2006 she teaches Theatre Arts and Dramaturgy at the University of Munich, University of Frankfurt and the Central Academy of Drama in Beijing.

In 2004 she worked as dramaturg at the Lin Zhaohua Theatre Studio in Beijing. In 2007 she worked as the Chief Dramaturg to the Caochangdi Workstation, Beijing. She was the jury member of the Young Directors’ Project, Beijing 2007.

Since 2009 she has been endeavoring to introduce the German concept and working method of dramaturgy (the so-called “Brechtian Dramaturgy”) into China. In 2009 she curated the international symposium/workshop Dramaturgy in Beijing (together with the Goethe-Institute China) and established the Dramaturgy Seminar at the Central Academy of Drama, China. The students of the Seminar have produced series of theatre productions (Liu Ruoxins “To the Southeast!” [Beijing 2011], Ran Rans “The School for Wives” [Shenzhen 2012]). She is now Associate Professor of Theatre Studies at the Central Academy of Drama, China.

In 2012 she received the NCET Fellowship (the Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University) from the Ministry of Education, China. She is now conducting the research projects “The Dramaturgy System in German Speaking Countries”, “The Contemporary World Theatre” (both funded by the Ministry of Education, China) and “The Chinese Theatre since the 1980’s” (funded by DFG, Germany).