Creativeness of Craftsmanship: The Beautiful Countryside by Design is a project curated and executed by Beijing Saisi Boyi Culture and Art Co., Ltd. (directly affiliated with the Center of International Cultural Exchange) and Sichuan Fine Arts Institute. Based on the research on rural cultural resources by fine arts academies from the perspective of creative design in recent years, the project aims at reinventing rural craftsmanship and catalyzing rural development. By discovering the pathway to rural revitalization, the project reveals the idyllic beauty of the countryside, unveiling the “sweep changes” of China’s rural landscape in the new development stage.
Four distinct themes under which short videos were published on overseas China Cultural Centers’ online project repository platforms. Coupled with the “China Tourism and Culture Week” promotion campaign, a special media column was created on chinaculture.org, chinadaily.com.cn, ccdy.cn, ctnews.com.cn, the official websites of overseas China Cultural Centers, and cultural exchange magazines home and abroad to promote the project.
The Great Woodcraft
In China, people use wood as the primary construction materials and developed the tenon and mortise work befitting them. For millennia, the Chinese used wood to build around life. They sought harmony between man and nature elevating woodcraft to the spiritual realm. Traditional residential wooden structures abound in villages across China and they are the earliest and most far-reaching objects in the Chinese tradition and the embodiment of traditional culture. Woodcraft is the product of millennia, the legacy of agrarian China and the source of “unity between the heaven of man” in Chinese philosophy. Woodcraft is the best way to have a taste of the country and the rural cultural landscape.
The Dai Paper Reborn
Man Zhao, a southwestern village where paper is still hand-made; paper making started here 800 years ago. The original process of the “pouring” paper-making method remains intact. The rain forests boast a plentiful supply of the only raw materials for paper making, called the Dai paper. The Dai paper-making respects nature and the spiritual realm encapsulates the humanistic DNA of the rain forests. During the years, this ancient craft was reinvent. Craftsmen, designers, volunteers, and faculty and students fine arts academies came to Man Zhao, where they experimented with innovative designs. The trainees submitted design products, giving the Dai paper a new face in modern life. The artists reinvented the Dai paper-making the craftsmanship is reborn.
The Beauty of Xia Fabric
The hand-made textile is known for its lightness and softness exquisite as silk perfect for use in summer, hence the name Xia fabric literally “summertime fabric”. Pan Long town, Rongchang County, Chongqing is the traditional production base of Xia Fabric. The natural and healthy fabric fits the modern needs for a natural and high-quality lifestyle. Designers came to the villages to explore and experiment with new techniques in the fields and workshops. Designers inventing new use cases for the traditional fabric. More use cases of the Xia fabric create more authentic choices to inspire the modern lifestyle.
Huayao flowers blooming
Despite the remoteness and being landlocked, many ethnic regions in China are blessed with invaluable natural and cultural resources wondrous scenery simple and unsophisticated people and unique styles of handicrafts. In awe of the magnificence and grandeur of the mountains and waters, brimming with limpid and bright lights and shadows, the diverse and exotic patterns boldly woven into attire and accessories like the folk songs echoing across the vast land of the west, touching and resonating with the hearts of designers flocking here for inspirations. Cultural heritage can be carried forward by acknowledging modern trends. The traditional can be fashionable. Tap the wisdom of the countryside through innovative designs. Build cultural confidence, energize innovation. Sustain the development of the countryside. This is the consensus for culture-based rural revitalization.
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