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Construct by the Internationalization of Urban Culture—Ambition towards Art...

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Post time 2019-2-23 05:16:32 | Show all posts |Read mode
Construct by the Internationalization of Urban Culture
——Ambition towards Art of an Ancient City, Ping Yao

Sculpture Projects Ping Yao
——A New Developing Direction for the Ancient City of Ping Yao.

The first Sculpture Projects Ping Yao is based on the theme of “Carving the Ancient and Sculpting the Modern” and is chaired by Mr. Wu Weishan, who is a sculptor of great artistry with titles of the Executive Commissioner of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and the Director of the National Art Museum of China. Sculpture Projects Ping Yao consists of three parts in total. First of all, part one is related to “International Communication” and is further divided into the foreign section and the domestic section. Specifically speaking, the foreign section “Sculpture as History” is curated by Lorenzo Benedetti, who was once the leading curator of National Pavilion of the 55th Venice Biennale, and is mainly based on artworks of Joseph Boyce. Besides, 19 outstanding European artists who have ever participated in some important art events such as the Venice Biennale, the Kassel Documenta and so on recently, are invited to join “Sculpture as History” to present their latest art creations. In part one’s domestic section, there are two units including “Inner Will of Life” curated by Wei Xiangqi as well as “Chinese Freehand Spirit” curated by Shao Xiaofeng and Qin Chunhui. Both of the exhibitions aim at presenting several top Chinese artists’ representative artworks to embrace international academic exchanges and communication with foreign artists. Then comes to the second part of Sculpture Projects Ping Yao which is a specially invited exhibition featuring precious original works in the field of sculpture, created by several western classic artists like Picasso, Dalí and Miro. Last but not least, the third part in Sculpture Projects Ping Yao includes an intangible cultural heritage exhibition, a young-artists group exhibition and some related forums and lectures, in order to display traditional and folk sculpture artworks with Shanxi province’s local characteristics.

Other than holding the two experienced art events -Ping Yao International Photography Festival and Ping Yao International film Festival, the ancient city of Ping Yao started to explore an additional new direction , which is Sculpture Projects Ping Yao in 2018, for diversification in urban cultural construction. As Mr. Shi Yong, magistrate of Ping Yao county said, holding festivals with regional characteristics of cultural intellectual property has become one of the major features of Ping Yao's social development strategy nowadays. “The city has made unremitting efforts to turn into an internationally famous tourism city relying on its historical charm of 3,000 years. It has forged its own cultural brands and industry value chain with Ping Yao International Photography Festival and Ping Yao International Film Festival in the past few years. At the moment, we firmly believe that it will be more than correct to welcome a new direction, which is to encourage traditional, contemporary and international sculptural culture to interact and inspire with one another on the opening platform of the ancient city of Ping Yao. This is how the framework of Sculpture Projects Ping Yao being put forward.”

Ambition to Achieve Internationalization
——Ping Yao's Development Strategy and Demonstration effect.

As a national ancient city, Ping Yao owns abundant unique cultural resources with a long history of 2,800 years. Early in the age of 1997, Ping Yao was already listed on the World Cultural Heritage List along with Shuanglin Temple and Zhenguo Temple. If we attempt to trace back to the source, we’ll find that Chinese ancient sculptures in Shanxi possess splendid records. For example, as for color modellings, more than 10,000 remains were excavated within the range of the province since the Tang Dynasty, among which over 2,000 pieces respectively from Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties are located in Shuanglin Temple in Ping Yao. These historical relics encompass various stories from Buddhism and customs, embody the beauty of Chinese classic sculpture, and are known as the “treasure of oriental color modellings art”. Besides, apparently, Ping Yao is filled with more other kinds of local cultural resources, all urging the Ping Yao county government to put forward appropriate strategies for their development in the future, which derives challenges and opportunities at the same time.

As the county magistrate Mr. Shi Yong’s statement, Ping Yao is rich with its local cultural resources such as folk culture, financial culture, Shanxi-merchants culture, color modellings culture and so on. Not only is Ping Yao regarded as a world cultural heritage but also it is qualified a national 5A level scenic spot. In the process of its development, the former honor highlights the cultural value of this ancient city while the latter one emphasizes its tourism value. Both are significant for the city’s positioning. Therefore, Ping Yao definitely belongs to both the domestic and the overseas. “We hope that Ping Yao gradually becomes not only an original and simplex ancient city, but also an inclusive and open place of art.”

But how to upgrade the city of Ping Yao into a world’s center of art and culture? To inspire the answers, Mr. Shi Yong takes Sculpture Projects Ping Yao as an example. In his expectation, this distinguished art project attempts to itinerantly exhibit in Chengdu, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Vienna and other cities with extended duration from one month to one year in the future, other than simply base in Ping Yao. What’s more, government is planning to set up a permanent international sculpture museum around the area of Shuanglin Temple.

From 2017 till now, local governments in Shanxi province along with enterprises begin to get involve in a new mode of cooperation to organize Sculpture Projects Ping Yao, so called public-private partnership, which means that public institutions -the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, the Shanxi Provincial Department of Culture, the Jinzhong Municipal Party Committee and the Municipal Government, and the Ping Yao County Committee and County Government- are in charge of conducting market oriented operations, while Austrian Mobius Art Foundation from Europe acts as the production unit with Ping Yao International Sculpture Festival Co, Ltd. as the host. “The specialists do the professional things.” With such belief, we hope to stand on the shoulders of the giants and achieve optimal resource allocations. Only in this way can we integrate the most advanced concepts and the most innovative elements from home and abroad, thoroughly stimulate the vitality of the demanding market and manage to a sustainable development of the society.

Sculpture Projects Ping Yao last year started its first endeavor on curation and operation with just the public-private partnership mentioned above. Concretely speaking, with great policy and academic supports from governments, the hosting unit made best use of art resources from international institutions like the Austrian Mobius Art Foundation, as well as millions of euros as capital input to operate the art project. All efforts aim at promoting Sculpture Projects Ping Yao to gradually become an internationally renowned Chinese art festival. In the future urban planning of Ping Yao, governments are supposed to better allocate resources to support the development of more art and cultural festivals, and make good use of their leverage to strike a balance between the peak and the slack tourism seasons. More importantly, governments should be responsible for enriching cultural connotation of Ping Yao in order to put forward new and meaningful projects with outstanding characteristics, such as Ping Yao International Martial Art Festival, Ping Yao International Chinese Medicine Conference and so on. The superior goal is to enhance worldwide influence of the ancient city of Ping Yao rough unremitting cultural constructions.

With the three on-going popular art projects -Ping Yao International Photography Festival, Ping Yao International Film Festival and Sculpture Projects Ping Yao, Ping Yao succeeds in promoting tourism and urban development through renovating art festivals and pursuing cultural internationalization, without doubt. It sets brilliant examples for other cities, especially when they are drafting strategies for their own traditional cultural industries’ development. Ping Yao’s ambition towards art is worth pondering deeply over. As the saying goes, what belongs to the ethnic belongs to the world. Let’s look forward to the increasing international popularity of Ping Yao, its promotion of more and more intangible cultural heritage exhibiting overseas and Chinese ancient sculptural spirits spreading worldwide.


Translator:Jing ZENG


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Construct by the Internationalization of Urban Culture—Ambition towards Art...
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