The Lanterns of Terracotta Warriors Exhibition

The Lanterns of Terracotta Warriors Exhibition has been presented in Beijing, Shanghai and other major Chinese cities and it was a great success as part of the Stockton International Festival (SIRF) commemorating the festival twinning with Beijing Chaoyang Spring Carnival on the occasion of SIRF’s 25th anniversary. In October 2013 the Lanterns were presented as part of Birmingham’s Illuminate Festival and in January 2014 the exhibition made its Scottish debut in Edinburgh to mark Chinese New Year.


The Lanterns of Terracotta Warriors Exhibition was commissioned in 2008 for the Beijing Olympic Games. The lanterns are inspired by the famous ‘terracotta army’ discovered when the tomb of the 3rd Century BC Chinese emperor Qin Shi Huang was found in Xi’an province in 1974. This army, housed in an underground vault of 12,000 sq.m, comprised 8,000 warriors arranged in battle formation, ready to defend the emperor’s immortal soul.


The artist of the lantern exhibition chose to humanise the terracotta army, in keeping with the traditions of Chinese lantern design. These brightly coloured, greater than life size figures are accurate representations of the terracotta soldiers, but this ‘army’ includes women and children arranged in family groups.


Since 2013 EI has been working with its Beijing partners to present the exhibition outside China at venues including Birmingham Illuminate Festival, Edinburgh University and now Sydney City Council.


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Set in a stunning location at Dawes Point overlooking Sydney Harbour and the Opera House, the Lanterns of Terracotta Warriors open air exhibition was one of the keynote events of this year’s Sydney Chinese New Year Festival (13th February – 1st March), the largest event of its kind outside Asia.

Lighting the lanterns was the launch event of this year’s Festival, and Director Gill Minervini commented:


“The installation is everything and more I wanted it to be – and its continuing success is testament to the quality and impact of the work. I have long been searching for something that truly cemented the festival in an international context and this has done the trick”.



For further information about the Lanterns Exhibition and to receive a full information pack, email katie@eventi.co.uk