As a designer, Mr. Yi has worked on set design and lighting design for nearly 200 important theatre performances home and abroad which cover opera, dance, drama and traditional Chinese opera. His design works has won many awards including Wenhua Award by Chinese Ministry of Culture, Excellent Work Award by Five One Project, Quality Work Award, Academy Award by the Central Academy of Drama as well as Outstanding Creation Award by the municipal government of Beijing.
Starting from 1995, Mr. Yi Liming became International commissioned designer. He has been commissioned by more than a dozen renowned international festivals including Brussels Art Festival in Belgium, London International Theatre Festival UK, Paris Autumn Festival France, Lincoln Center Festival in USA and SPOLETO Festival USA. In addition, Mr. Yi was also commissioned by the New National Theatre of Japan and USA National Drama Repertory Theatre.
In 2002, as a visiting scholar, Yi was invited by Harvard University for stage design and academic exchange in Cambridge.
In 2008, Mr. Yi Liming initiated the establishment of the Old Tales Retold Theater Company and directed a good number of well-known domestic and international drama including Old Tales Retold, Tea House , Hamlet, Thunderstorm, The Lobbyist, The Orphan of Zhao, Coriolanus and Mourning Becomes Electra. Among these theatrical works, Old Tales Retold was premiered in Berlin Festival in 2002. Coriolanus which was co-directed by Mr. Lin Zhaohua was invited and staged at Edinburgh International Festival in 2013.
In 2013, Mr. Yi directed in Tianjin Grand Theatre the Hungarian composer Bela Bartok's opera Duke Bluebeard's Castle and Igor Stravinsky’s opera Oedipus Rex. It marked the first performance of modern Western opera in China’s theatrical precedent. In the same year, Mr. Yi was commissioned by Tianjin Opera and Dance Theatre to direct the opera La Traviata by Verdi. In 2014, Mr. Yi was invited by National Centre for the Performing Arts to direct the original opera piece The Rickshaw Boy composed by Mr. Guo Wenjing.