21世纪伊始，纸老虎建立了自己的剧场空间，很快就在北京发展成一个独特的表演舞台。他们开创主持着一个松散的戏剧节 —— “装傻”，以此来支持本地以及来访的剧作家、舞者、艺术家和表演团队。在2010年，纸老虎开始跨文化研究性剧场的创作：其中连续两年在安特卫普创作《误读三部曲》；2012年在中国和德国同时开始大型剧场研究项目《群众：非常高兴》。这个项目的剧场呈现于2014年10月在德国慕尼黑室内剧院的新演出季做全球首演。2016年波兰克拉科夫国立老剧院委约纸老虎，邀请导演田戈兵以异文化背景艺术家的身分，对十诫、出埃及记以及对神的信仰一一进行检视，创作了以宗教题材为背景的《十诫》。纸老虎最新的剧场研究项目《500米：卡夫卡、长城、来自不真实世界的图像和日常生活中的英雄主义》在2017年世界戲劇節首演于汉堡塔利亚剧院。
Paper Tiger Theatre Studio is an independent artist collective founded in 1997. Together with dancers, visual artists and individuals of various professional backgrounds, theatre director Tian Gebing leads a creative initiative on the collective basis. It is their articulate intention to act as spoilsport (players in a game who carry sabotaging intentions), exposing the brutal absurdity which undermines the carefully fabricated narrations that cover up the cruelty in our society. Paper Tiger works take materials from everyday contemporary life and put them into theatrical re-construction, to be transformed by means of deconstructing, transposing, misinterpreting, fictional extending, portraying and improvising. Theatre is taken as an opportunity to re-enter reality, where after/at the action an exchange of societal and theatre context would be possible. Through the transcontextual process, both the theatre form and the spectators could have an opportunity of freedom from conventions.
In its early years Paper Tiger experimented with combining visual arts and the living scene in theatre, combining social performance and theatrical performance, therefore challenging and subverting the conventional idea of theatre imposed by dominating ideologies. Through experiments and practices a distinct set of Heterotopian aesthetics in contemporary theatre was developed. Among a number of art projects and pieces, Beijing Is Blue (1997), Killer Is Not Cold & High Art (1998), and later works Cool (2006), Reading (2010) witnessed the first decade or so of Paper Tiger’s history. These productions have toured international festivals in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Berlin, Munich, Zurich, Amsterdam, etc.
In 2010 Paper Tiger founded its theatre space and saw it soon grown into a unique stage for performing arts in Beijing. A loosely organised festival ‘Playing the Fool’ was hosted to support local and visiting theatre makers, dancers, artists and performance groups. Since 2010 Paper Tiger set out to develop transcultural research theatre projects. The first two years saw their exploration in the Misreading trilogy from residencies in Antwerp. In 2012 a big research project on the concept of the masses started in China and Germany. Its theatre presentation Totally Happy took its world premiere at Münchner Kammerspiele in October 2014 and went on as repertoire for that season. In 2016 Tian was commissioned by Narodowy Stary Teatr Krakow as an artist with his heterogeneous cultural background to examine the Decalogue, Exodus and the Christian faith. Dekalog was created as a result. Paper Tiger’s latest research project 500 Meters: Kafka, Great Wall or Images from the Unreal World and Daily Heroism took its two-year span of development and premiered on Theater der Welt 2017 at Thalia Theater Hamburg.