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Exhibition introduces visitors to culture

By LI HONGYANG | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-01-28 08:51
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Intangible cultural heritage masters in Beijing will showcase their crafts in the Chinese capital during the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games to enable athletes from all over the world to have a taste of traditional Chinese culture.

At two Olympic villages-which opened on Thursday in downtown Beijing and in the capital's Yanqing district-and at the main media center, people can enjoy about 300 works of intangible cultural heritage.

The art pieces, related to ice and snow, are part of an exhibition with the theme Cultural China that will run during the Olympics from Feb 4 to 20 and the Paralympics from March 4 to 13.

The intangible cultural heritage pieces include cloisonne, carvings, dough figurines and other artworks that Chinese people play with or use in their daily lives.

A pen holder designed by Zhong Liansheng, manager of the Beijing Enamel Factory Company, is one of the items on display. Zhong, also a master of cloisonne, said he used the technique to paint a romantic snow scene in the capital on the pen holder.

"We aim to integrate traditional Chinese culture with the concept of the Winter Olympics," he said.

Zhong also showcased his cloisonne production skills to international visitors during the Summer Olympics in Beijing in 2008.

Beijing will make history by becoming the first city to host both versions of the Olympics, and Zhong said, "As craftspeople, we feel honored to display traditional skills through this opportunity."

As the Beijing Winter Olympics will begin during the Spring Festival holiday, the display also includes festival elements, such as paper cuttings for window decoration. A Beijing specialty also on display is Lord Rabbit, a clay figurine toy for children during the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Shuang Yan, a national inheritor of the rabbit making art, said: "Each family in old Beijing has to have a Lord Rabbit as a mascot. It carries a wish of curing diseases and preventing disasters. It expresses health blessings to the guests who attend the Games."

In one work, Lord Rabbit rides on a tiger, the Chinese zodiac animal for 2022.

Zhang Qian, director of the intangible cultural heritage department at the Beijing Municipal Culture and Tourism Bureau, said that as a national cultural center, Beijing has an outstanding record in protecting intangible cultural heritage.

"In the exhibition space, craftspeople tried their best to present the most perfect artistic image to guests," he said.

"Athletes from all over the world will be able to feel the cultural atmosphere of Spring Festival in Beijing amid the intense competitions. They can feel an atmosphere of friendship. They can also learn from the exhibition that the Olympic spirit is faster, higher, stronger and together."

Li Zhanjia, an official from the cultural and ceremonies department at the Beijing organizing committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, said, "Through the exhibition, we want to tell stories about the diligence and wisdom of Chinese people to show how China developed so rapidly."

In addition to intangible cultural heritage, the Cultural China exhibition also features three-dimensional images of famous Chinese landmarks and games involving the writing of Chinese characters.

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