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Beautiful China: Smooth as silk

(China Daily)

10:16, January 07, 2013

A video production on Chinese silk, Beautiful China, started airing on Times Square's China screen on Dec.20, and will be shown on rotation for the next two months in the heart of New York. (China Daily)

Look up while in New York's Times Square and you may refresh your notions about Chinese silk: Besides being symbolic of the country, it's natural and very fashionable.

Beautiful China, a 30-second promotional video on silk, debuted in Manhattan on Dec 20 and will be in rotation on the China screen there for the next two months.

"The film will add a new element to the China image," says Li Chaosheng, deputy director from the Commerce Ministry's Department of Market Operation and Consumption Promotion. His department oversees the silk brand-building campaign that will expand in 2013.

Li says the film delivers several messages about the national fabric. "Silk is gorgeous and eco-friendly. It starts from China and is international." Li explained that while silk has long been a symbol of China, it's more versatile than just qipao, or cheongsam material.

Pat Thoney, one of the estimated 1.7 million daily viewers at Times Square, got the message.

"The more people see it, the better it is," says the staff member with Howard County Public Schools, Maryland. "Playing videos about China is definitely helpful. I think the more China introduces itself, the better."

A more informative version of the film runs for 3.5 minutes, featuring the history of the cloth and the eco-friendly, air-cleaning process of its production: Mulberry trees and silkworms are good for increasing the land's fertility, the film's narrative says, and the trees also suck up sulfurous gases in the air.

"Silk is the traditional Chinese way of sustainable development, it's not just the country's signature luxury fabric," Li Chaosheng says.

The Time Square video is cut to highlight silk products that will grab attention on the high New York screen and appeal to the international market.

The full-length China Silk film will be aired on several TV stations, including the American ICN TV Network, Blue Ocean Network, WCTV and Hong Kong's TVB-8 station.

Moreover, to promote better understanding of the Chinese fabric, a January exhibition will be staged in Meridian International Center in Washington DC and go on for three months. It will feature handicrafts, photography and multimedia presentation of China's 5,000-year-plus history of silk production. A showcase meeting to present high-end silk to the trade is also planned for next spring in the US.

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