The acclaimed installation Lanterns of the Terracotta Warriors is coming to the North West for the first time. Commissioned for the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 and created by artist Xia Nan, the art work comprises 40 Chinese warriors, all of which stand at over two metres tall and have been made from brightly-coloured lanterns. The Lanterns of the Terracotta Warriors will form part of Manchester’s 2017 Chinese New Year celebrations, the largest in the UK outside of London. The installation was inspired by the famous Terracotta Army; in 1974, over 8,000 life-size soldiers, chariots and horses made from terracotta were unearthed from the tomb of the first Emperor of China. A form of funerary art, the sculptures were laid to rest with the body of the Emperor around 200 BC – now, they’re deemed to be on a par with the seven Wonders of the World.
Nan’s reinterpretation of the Terracotta Army will appear in Exchange Square 10am-9pm, 26-29 January. A faithful replica of the figures in the original army, the Lanterns of the Terracotta Warriors includes the addition of women and children as a way of representing inheritance and the future; it also combines the original story of the warriors with the 2,000 year-old history of lantern making in China. Don’t miss this stunning, luminous installation as it lights up Exchange Square for four days only – and check out our guide to the Cathedral Quarter for things to do nearby.