Cao Yu – the pioneer of modern Chinese drama

Cao Yu – the most significant figure in the development of modern drama in China – is the subject of new exhibition at the University’s Parkinson Building which opened on 21 March.

Born in 1910, Cao Yu lived through many of the great upheavals experienced in 20th century China and the exhibition presents his life and works as a way of giving audiences a more profound understanding of China's recent history and culture. Countries throughout the world recognise Cao Yu as the 'Shakespeare of China', even though much of his work remains little known in Europe.

Dr Ruru Li (Department of East Asian Studies), who is Cao Yu's step-daughter and curator of the exhibition, says: "Cao Yu's life and career exemplify the dilemmas and difficulties faced by generations of Chinese intellectuals in the 20th century."

A new stage work based on the female characters from Cao Yu's plays will also be featured at stage@leeds on 23 March.

The exhibition is supported by the White Rose East Asia Centre, London Confucius Institute, Confucius Institute for Scotland, Chinese Embassy Cultural section, Shanghai Theatre Academy Theatre Museum and the Theatre Museum of Beijing People's Art Theatre.

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