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China launches go-global cultural exhibition drive

(Global Times)    07:51, May 11, 2018

Cities around world to hold events in ‘China Week’

China launched its go-global cultural exhibition campaign on Thursday that will display Chinese creative products that incorporate traditional elements with modern design.

From May 10 to June 30, 35 China Cultural Centers in major cities around the world will host an array of events to promote China-created cultural products, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism announced on Tuesday.

The event, titled "China Week: Inherit and Innovate," aims to promote Chinese creative products, cultural institutions and innovative enterprises through exhibitions, lectures and workshops, according to the ministry.

Eighty-six week-long activities will be held around the globe, including events sponsored or relating to China's museums, intangible cultural heritage, design and animation.

Visitors will have the chance to view the latest product designs and crafts, such as intricate needlepoint embroidery, traditional tea sets with modern amenities and high-fashion jewelry, all of which will highlight the traditional Chinese lifestyle.

Some of the exhibitions will include souvenirs, artifacts and innovative products catered by Beijing's Palace Museum located in the capital's Forbidden City, which was nearly 600 years old.

Creative industries are flourishing in China. By the end of 2017, the Palace Museum had created more than 9,600 branded souvenirs which are generating revenue of more than 1 billion yuan ($157.5 million) a year.

As one of the most prestigious partners in the global exhibitions, the Palace Museum has taken a big step in the research and development of cultural and creative products.

"The exhibition mainly features new products and representative designs incorporating the most prominent elements of the Forbidden City," Feng Hui, director of the Culture and Creative department of the Palace Museum, told the Global Times.

"We offer the most practical products to visitors. The products will meet different requirements of people from different cultures," Feng said.

Other factors taken into consideration include innovative ways of displaying the artifacts and modern creative works to give visitors the chance to appreciate the products up close. Items of a similar theme were displayed in color-coordinated exhibits.

Cultural centers worldwide

China has established 35 China Cultural Centers in foreign cities including Paris, Tokyo, Sydney, Moscow, Cairo and Tel Aviv. That number is expected to reach 50 by 2020.

These cultural centers have hosted many events in a bid to present a true, multi-dimensional and panoramic view of China, Xinhua reported.

Following the steps of the 'go global' strategy in spreading greater understanding of Chinese culture, the exhibitions provide a chance for Chinese creative products to be seen by the world.

"We believe that the 'go global' strategy is a bridge that will connect more people to traditional Chinese culture," Feng emphasized.

"It not only allows us to promote our own culture, it lets us absorb fresh ideas from other countries at the same time."

"I hope a product denoting the rich cultural history of the Palace Museum can find a place in everyone's home, which is our goal," said Feng.

Fusing old and new

NICE Choice, another exhibition aimed at the overseas market, applies traditional and creative Chinese elements into modern design. "We are purposefully displaying the products in a minimalist manner," Li Ning, the director of the Center of International Cultural Exchange, told the Global Times.

"We use folding screens to separate the exhibition space, which is a traditional way of dividing floor space usage. At the same time, modern elements are applied to the design, such as modern lighting techniques. We will use pictures instead of words to provide background information."

"We want to bring some new, brighter elements to traditional Chinese culture," said Li. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liang Jun, Hongyu)

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