Give Vigor and Fashion to Intangible Cultural Heritage in China
Updated: 3 23,2022 Source:China IP News

The Two Sessions have come to a successful conclusion. The Government Work Report of this year clearly underlined the importance of preserving and inheriting intangible cultural heritage. Over the past few years, China has taken various measures to give vigor and fashion to intangible cultural heritage. Up to date, the country has listed 1,557 national-level projects of intangible cultural heritage, 42 of which are included in the UNESCO catalog, ranking No. 1 in the world.

How to ensure the continuity of traditional culture and give new vigor to them in the new era? To answer this question,  China has established a well-designed structure. In 2005, the General Office of the State Council of China released the Opinions on Enhancing Preservation of Intangible Cultural Heritage in China, thus gradually establishing a Chinese-style system for preserving intangible cultural heritage; in 2011, the Law of the People's Republic of China on Intangible Cultural Heritage went into effect; during the 13th Five-year Plan period, 37 local regulations on preserving the intangible cultural heritage were added.

Many regions in China have made painstaking efforts to preserve and inherit the intangible cultural heritage, hoping to help boost the local economic growth. The government of Guizhou Province works together with Suzhou Art & Design Technology Institute to build Guizhou Station of Traditional Crafts, which provides strong support in invigorating traditional crafts and better preserving and inheriting the intangible culture heritage in Guizhou. In Jiangsu Province, the tourism experience base of intangible cultural heritage offers various programs with fun and knowledge for different groups of tourists, so as to merge tourism with intangible cultural heritage. In Hunan Province, the national-level intangible cultural heritages such as West Hunan Province Drum Dance of Miao People, and Garments of Miao People have obtained support of national and local policies. The ecology & culture tourism industry, pillared on intangible cultural heritage, has created more job opportunities for local residents.

Recent years have witnessed a dialogue between intangible cultural heritage and the world. At the Exhibition of London Craft Week 2021, Shanghai Ximeng Culture & Media Co., Ltd. used AR (augmented reality) technology to present how the Chinese intangible cultural heritage is made. Foreign visitors just need to click on an APP and aim the camera lens on exhibits of their interest to see how they are made. In this way, they can appreciate the exhibits of the Chinese intangible cultural heritage without the hassle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thanks to the preservation efforts, excellent traditional culture has been integrated into modern life, resulting in the popularity of related products. On November 11 Campaign of TMALL in 2021, the 100% YoY growth was recorded in the sums and number of born-after-year-2000 consumers who purchased products of intangible cultural heritage at online shops.

These products are favored mainly because they cater to the market need. Ms. Long Luying, a senior craft embroidery master/successor of Miao People embroidery in Qian-Dongnan Prefecture, Guizhou , says her company of tourism souvenirs focuses on combining the manual skills of intangible cultural heritage with the elements of fashion. As a result, the products of her company are highly popular among consumers. In more than one decade, it has grown from a handicrat workshop with only eight employees into a culture company hiring more than 1,000 embroidery ladies and grossing over 20 million yuan per year. "The enterprises and cooperatives of intangible cultural heritage, which are steered towards the market need, have helped tens of thousands of ethnic villagers to get employed without leaving their hometown", said Ms. Deng Jie, Deputy Division Chief of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Guizhou Department of Culture and Tourism.

Inheriting expertise of intangible cultural heritage with heart and soul, and instilling fresh vigor with innovations. In China, fashion and vigor have been injected into the resources of intangible cultural heritage.