Mr Li Han Hsiang



Director Li Han Hsiang was born in Liaoning and grew up in Beijing. He studied Western painting at the National Peking Art School and theatre in Shanghai. Li moved to Hong Kong in 1948, where director Shen Fu referred him to the acting school of Yung Hwa Motion Pictures. Li then tried his luck at different studios, working as an actor, dubbing artist and set designer. His directorial debut, Red Bloom in the Snow (1956), won critical acclaim and helped to pave the way for a career at Shaw Brothers. Li made more than 70 films in his lifetime. In particular, he blazed a trail for Huangmeidiao opera films, historical costume dramas and erotica. Huangmeidiao opera works Diau Charn (1958), The Kingdom and the Beauty (1959) and The Love Eterne (1963) each scooped Best Film and Best Director at both the Asian Film Festival and the Golden Horse Awards. In 1963, Li went to Taiwan to set up Grand Motion Picture Company and an affiliated acting school. The studio played a pivotal role in promoting the development of Taiwan’s film industry, but it closed down some years later due to financial troubles. In 1972, Li rejoined Shaw Brothers and went on to helm Warlord (1972), Legends of Lust (1972), The Empress Dowager (1975) and Tiger Killer (1982), among other titles. Li began shooting films for mainland studios in 1983. This resulted in titles including The Burning of Imperial Palace (1983), Reign Behind a Curtain (1983) and The Last Emperor (1986). Li died of a heart attack in 1996, while making the TV series Burning of First Emperor’s Palace (1996) in Beijing.