Cooperation bolsters ancient city fair

Updated: 2016-10-13 08:04

By China Daily(China Daily)

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The rapid development of creative craft markets in China has led some organizers to considering a new business model that will bolster the welfare of designers.

Xiao Xu, main organizer of iMart Pingyao Ancient City in the northwestern province of Shanxi, said a solution could lie in better cooperation with local governments.

"Although there are numerous fairs, not many work directly with the official channels," he said. "But as far as I'm concerned, it's a great way to do business, especially in a place full of traditional heritage. Sadly, modern commercialization is beginning to eat away at traditions."

As a UNESCO world heritage site, Pingyao Ancient City is renowned for its conservation of the city's layout during the Ming (1386-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, providing visitors with an accurate impression of an authentic ancient Chinese city.

Cooperation with the authorities has brought designers to the city. They can participate in training sessions organized by the government, and competitions have been held at the fair to reward exceptional artists.

"Co-hosted by the government, the events attract a lot of recognition from both locals and visitors," Xiao said.

"Thankfully, we are happy to discover that some local people have learned to enjoy and actively protect our culture and heritage. Our ultimate goal is to attract more artists to settle here so this traditional culture can be passed on and flourish."

 Cooperation bolsters ancient city fair

A woman has her hair braided at a creative market in Pingyao, a UNESCO world heritage site in North China's Shanxi province.Xiao Xu / For China Daily