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'Culture Makers' of 'One-thousand-year-old Academy'

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-12-13 09:38

More than a thousand years after establishment, Yuelu Academy is still a prestigious higher education institute today and attracts loads of tourists from near and afar.

Founded in 976, Yuelu Academy is honored as the "One-thousand-year-old Academy".

Resting at the foothills of the Yuelu Mountain in Changsha, Central China's Hunan province, it used to be a hub of culture and academic activities.

Now, a bunch of young students are making every effort to inject new vitality into the ancient academy and make Chinese traditional culture more alive than ever.

They are called "Culture Makers" by Professor Ji Tie who is also the leader of the project which brings students to the fields and combines their design expertise with local people's entrepreneurship.

Since the project was initiated in 2009, the "Culture Makers" have successfully turned valuable cultural relics in the Academy into various creative, cultural and everyday products.

Besides getting inspiration from cultural relics inside the Academy, the "Culture Makers" also turn their eyes to traditional handicrafts beyond the wall.

By making fashionable accessories out of traditional Dong brocade, they combined traditional handicrafts with modern city life.

This can help protect traditional handicrafts and is also a way to improve people's lives, said Yang Miao, who runs the Dong brocade project.

"Our job is to include these intangible heritages into cultural industry and hence promote the development of the industry," said Ji Tie.

It is also a way to deepen students' understanding of rural people and their culture, and raise their awareness of the unbalanced development, he added.

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