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Honorary Doctorate

LIN Ke-huan

2011 Honorary Doctorate

LIN Ke-huan


Born in Hong Kong in 1941 into a family native to Chenhai in Guangdong Province, Lin Ke-huan is an internationally known Chinese dramaturge. He graduated from Jinan University in Guangzhou in 1965 with a degree in Chinese language and literature, and immediately joined the China National Youth Theater where he worked as editor, Head of Department of Literature, Artistic Director and then President until his retirement in 2003. He is judge of the Chinese Theatre Literature Association’s Drama Awards and Golden Lion Awards. He is also Vice-President of the Chinese Dramatic Art Research Society and Honorary President of the Chinese Theatre Literature Association. In 1991, Mr Lin was conferred the title “National Class One Critic” by the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China. In 1992, he  received the State Council Special Allowance, officially recognizing his contribution to the development of Chinese arts and culture.

Mr Lin has been a prolific writer for the past four decades. He was the co-author of the drama The Turning Point (1977) and Newspaper Boy (1978). His critiques on drama, fine arts, dance, photography, film, television, installation art, performance art and literary work, as well as his essays on aesthetics appear in over 190 publications in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Singapore, the United States, Belgium and Germany. His other publications include Tilted Stage, Theory of Dramatic Presentation, Close Questioning and Sport, Dramatic Hong Kong – Hong Kong Theatre, and Drama in the Era of Consumerism. In his articles, he explores the role of the theatre in the context of cultural development, taking into consideration the impact of consumerism, the Internet, and popular culture. His has also written on the dilemma the dramatists encountered, and ways to ensure the theatre’s sustainability. These topics have made his publications essential reading for artists, academics and all those with an interest in Chinese theatre.

Over the years, Mr Lin has been invited to participate as a visiting scholar at a host of international conferences and arts festivals in countries including Russia, Georgia, Belgium, France, England, Singapore, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. He has given lectures on the theatre and literature at over 50 colleges and graduate schools, including the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the Chinese National Academy of Arts, China Medical University, the University of Hong Kong, Tsinghua University, Peking University, Beijing Normal University, Communication University of China, the Central Academy of Drama, Shanghai Theatre Academy, Beijing Dance Academy, the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Taipei National University of Arts, the Chinese Culture University, and Singapore’s Practice Performing Arts School. In the 2010/2011 academic year, Mr Lin has been visiting scholar at the Department of Liberal Arts Studies of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, teaching “The City and the Arts”. His insights have been truly inspirational for students.

Mr Lin’s academic achievements are undisputed. Japanese scholar Hiroshi Seto said, “Mr Lin is the central figure in today’s studio theatre movement”. Notable Taiwanese writer Ma Sen has written, “No one understands the theatre across the Strait as much as Mr Lin.” Hong Kong West Kowloon Cultural District Executive Director (Performing Arts Policy and Management Services) Mr Louis Yu said, “Mr Lin Ke-huan is the most important theatre critic at present in the Chinese communities.”

During the past two decades, Mr Lin has been an important figure in the local theatre scene as a resident critic, and as consultant to many theatre and dance companies. Currently, he is consultant to the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre, the Seals Players, and the PIP (Pleasure.Imagination.Play). Tireless in his advocacy, Mr Lin commutes frequently between Beijing and Hong Kong, and continues to enlighten and benefit professionals, students, and the general public with his wealth of knowledge, with far-reaching influence on the long-term development of the performing arts in the Chinese-speaking world.