The Lanterns of Terracotta Warriors Exhibition

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.

Xia Nan, the artist behind 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 and Edinburgh in the UK, Sydney, Australia and Bogota, Colombia. Most recently, in 2017 the Lanterns of Terracotta Warriors Exhibition was the center piece of the Manchester BiD team’s Chinese New Year Celebration in Exchange Square.


For further information about the Lanterns Exhibition and to receive a full information pack, email [email protected]