Beijing's breeding ground for culture

Updated: 2015-08-04 07:44

By Wang Kaihao(China Daily)

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Beijing's breeding ground for culture

Qianmen will take on a new look, with the construction of a 400,000-square-meter park, with an investment of about 24 billion yuan ($3.9 billion).

"Some people have learned certain techniques from masters but are unqualified to preserve ICH because they don't immerse themselves sufficiently in the history and cultural backgrounds of these traditions' origins."

It's crucial for young people to develop mechanisms of sustainable preservation, Wang believes. Folk arts must adapt to modern aesthetics and commercial operations to survive.

"Inadequate capital is the bottleneck," printmaker Wei Lizhong says.

Wei, who will work in the Qianmen park in future, is the director of Shizhuzhai Art Museum in Hangzhou. Shizhuzhai wood-and-water prints were included in the list of national ICH items last year.

China's ICH protection association's deputy director Ma Wenhui explains: "Countries like France don't use the term ICH as often as China. That's because they've successfully merged traditional craftsmanship into modern design to create globally leading luxury brands. French people take ICH for granted as part of life."

Ma expects the Qianmen park to also incubate internationally influential brands but expresses concerns that some similar districts elsewhere in China were purely real-estate projects that failed as cultural institutions.

"Such projects are meaningless if ICH isn't their crux," he says.

"So we'll develop a supervision system to increase discipline. Everyone must ensure they're preserving authentic tradition rather than gimmicks before entering the market."

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