Impression Wonders Arts Development Co., Ltd (Impression Wonders), founded by leading Chinese directors Zhang Yimou, Wang Chaoge and Fan Yue, has become a fully owned subsidiary of Sanxiang Co., Ltd (stock symbol: 000863) following a buyout by the latter in May 2016. Former shareholders, including Mr. Zhang Yimou, IDG Capital, and Yunfeng Capital are direct or indirect shareholders of Sanxiang Impression as a result of the deal.
Impression Wonders engages in art creation, production, investment and performance management. Its offerings, including performances in natural settings under the Impression brand (Impression Liu Sanjie, Impression Lijiang, Impression West Lake, Impression Dahongpao Tea, Impression Putuo, Impression Wulong, and Impression Chinese Music) and interactive performances under the Encore brand (Encore Pingyao, Encore Mount Wutai, Encore Chinese Music and Encore Dunhuang) have been well-received. The company has participated in multiple high-profile projects, including the First Emperor (co-created for staging at the Metropolitan Opera), the opening and closing gala for 2008 Beijing Olympics, Shanghai Expo, and the Venice Architecture Biennale. “Most Memorable Is Hangzhou” , the opening gala for the 2016 G20 summit directed by Mr. Zhang Yimou, is the company’s most recent achievement which won praise from Chinese president Xi Jinping.
Performing in natural settings as pioneered by the Impression shows represents a new practice and an innovative genre. The Impression brand, the single largest recreational brand in China, explores the natural wonders for rich, dazzling artistic spectacles. It is committed to reshaping notions of entertainment, promoting Chinese culture and reconnecting man with nature. In Impression shows, local folklore, tradition and religion are revived. The combination of lighting effects, choreography, scenic design and music creates stunning experiences. Traditional musicals and plays are invested with a dreamlike quality in the masterful hands of Directors Zhang Yimou, Wang Chaoge and Fan Yue: natural landscapes used as backdrops and curtains; lighting techniques and even 3D technology imaginatively exploited to add to the visual effect; and performers meticulously recruited and given full play. New techniques, including stages which can revolve 360° and a screen matrix for coordinated projection have been invented for the purpose.
The Impression brand also pioneers a business model well suited to China’s culture industry. The inter-connectivity between Impression shows and their respective locales (top tourist destinations) fosters strong local sub-brands which are sustainable, expandable and with a steady flow of audience. Together, these sub-brands promise great business opportunities across regions, sectors and industry chains. Staged in unique and fixed settings and with performers recruited locally, each Impression show is scalable and enjoys a distinctness, in sharp contrast to its traditional counterpart which might be performed by the same touring ensemble at different locations. The positive role of Impression shows in local economy and employment sets a powerful example for contemporary culture and creative industries. Between them, Impression and Encore shows are viewed by 5.3 million audience each year, generating a box office revenue of 1.1 billion yuan annually. As such, the company is recognised as the best brand in high-end performances and king in box office terms.
The Impression and Encore brand platforms are developed and strengthened with Impression Wonders’ experience in operation and management and strong partners including performing arts companies, influential national or local media, and famous brands.
The Impression and Encore brands, by leveraging local resources, span over tourism and up-scale performing arts, two fastest-growing industries with strong policy support from the national government. They have gained international recognition and become strong promoters of Chinese art and culture with increasingly frequent cultural exchanges between China and the rest of the world. Impression Wonders plans to launch two new brands: Home-coming and Most Memorable for further expansion into prime tourist destinations in China and beyond.
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