Traditional culture given a modern twist

New enthusiasm revitalizes time-honored brands

By YANG FEIYUE | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2024-02-05 08:00
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Tibetan incense has proved popular with shoppers. [Photo/CHINA DAILY]

New enthusiasm

Wang Jingjing, head of Beijing Gongmei Group's operations management department, said traditional Chinese brands have been revitalized in recent years with a new wave of enthusiasm, attracting rising numbers of young customers.

Last year, the company launched the Yuxun program, which focuses on innovative art creations.

The program is aimed at setting up collaborative artistic projects with enterprises, design studios, professional designers, art school faculty and students, as well as individuals passionate about art.

"We aim to come up with brand new interpretations of Chinese intangible cultural heritage," Wang said.

The program has contacted some 300 artists to explore a modern-day conversion of traditional arts and crafts. Partnerships have also been formed with more than 30 artists with expertise in a wide range of traditional fields, including filigree inlay, imperial embroidery, Yi embroidery, and purple clay teapots.

Wang said, "We have discussed ways for traditional crafts to shine in the modern era, and how to market them and make them a brand, such as highlighting the history behind them, as well as their new looks and functions."

The general aim is to produce cross-disciplinary creations and bring more exquisite quality to artworks containing elements of Chinese culture by using new materials.

After a design is agreed upon, production is assigned to craftsmen before the marketing plan is formulated, Wang said.

Some cultural products have been developed as part of the program, with Tibetan incense one of the most popular, she added.

The culture of such incense is particularly important in Tibetan Buddhism and folk beliefs. For example, Nimu Tibetan incense made from cypress wood has a history of more than 1,300 years.

In 2008, the craft of making Tibetan incense was named as a national intangible cultural heritage.

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