Rizhao eyes preservation of traditional handicrafts
(chinadaily.com.cn)| Updated : 2023-03-17Print Print
Rizhao, a coastal city in East China's Shandong province, is exploring innovative ways to preserve and develop its traditional cultural handicrafts to boost its cultural industry.
The city is rich in culture resources, especially traditional handicrafts and intangible cultural heritage items, including black pottery, pankou, a traditional Chinese knot button, and guomenjian, a traditional paper-made decoration for windows and doors.
"In the past, every household had to put up a guomenjian for the Spring Festival celebration, but with the improvement of housing conditions, now fewer do," said Yu Hong, a fourth-generation inheritor of guomenjian, a national intangible cultural heritage project in Rizhao.
Guomenjian is a paper decoration with carved patterns that is used to hang at the doorway during important festivals and represents best wishes. To preserve the traditional art, Yu has developed modern patterns and also a series of derivative products, including bookmarks, which have become popular among younger consumers.
Rizhao black pottery making inheritor Bu Guangyun combines black pottery with modern elements, such as developing a black pottery music player exclusive for mobile phones. These innovations have helped bring the 4,000-year-old ancient technique back to people's daily lives.
The Rizhao government has also made efforts to support the preservation of traditional handicrafts and help crafts enter markets by building handicraft industrial parks, hand-made experience halls, as well as intangible cultural heritage workshops.
Currently, Rizhao has more than 30 black pottery related enterprises, developing more than 300 varieties of products. Creative products derived from Rizhao handmade paintings have been exported to more than 10 countries in Europe and America.
The city's intangible cultural heritage workshops have become important places for promoting handicraft culture. The guomenjian workshop in Juxian county hosts experience activities at schools regularly to help more people learn about traditional crafts. Training courses have also been held to help traditional handicrafts inheritors discover new trends from old arts and to attract intangible cultural heritage enthusiasts.
This year, Shandong issued a plan to promote the province's cultural resources along the Yellow River, the Grand Canal, the Great Wall of Qi, and the Huanghai and Bohai seas based on their features. As a coastal city along the Huanghai Sea, Rizhao will also put more emphasis on helping promote the handicraft industry by integrating seaside tourism.