This is China Series

Modern Chinese Artists Breathing New Life into Traditional Art. This is China | Episode 2

The episode explores China’s modern art scene. Host Rick O’Shea goes to Beijing to meet Liu Heng, the principal percussionist of the National Centre for the Performing Arts. Besides performing in Asia’s largest theatre, Liu Heng experiments with sounds and non-music objects to create music. He invites us to his secret ‘cave’, where he keeps his instruments and shares his thoughts on what ‘Made in China’ means to him.

In Hangzhou, ceramist Xiong Kaibo shows his traditional hand-crafted vessels. He reflects on how pottery and porcelain remain symbols of China. In his studio, we watch the entire process from moulding to glazing and firing. Xiong Kaibo explains why perfection is the Chinese tradition and why all defective pieces must be smashed.

Finally, Rick O’Shea travels to Hanzhong to discover the Han culture. The Han people make up the majority of China’s population. Rick meets a young dancer, Li Liangchen, who performs in colourful shows dedicated to the history of the Han dynasty.