Province adds more strings to its cultural bow
When considering the cultural legacies that China’s eastern province of Jiangxi has given the world, many people first think of porcelain, or chinaware, made in the ancient city of Jingdezhen.
Chinaware is no doubt the most prominent cultural symbol of Jiangxi province, and Jingdezhen has been the world’s leading porcelain producer for about a millennium.
The city of Jingdezhen was called Changnan before the reign of the third emperor, or Emperor Jingde, of the Song Dynasty (960-1279).
Porcelain wares from Changnan have been known to the West since the late Tang Dynasty (618-907) because of their excellent quality.
When the traders were asked where the precious items came from, they replied “China”, which sounds similar to Changnan. This resulted in the products becoming known as “chinaware”.
Chinaware is one item that has helped the West to learn more about China, and Changnan, or Jingdezhen, has been a cultural and artistic symbol for several centuries.
To this day, Jiangxi province still uses Jingdezhenmade chinaware to promote itself on the world stage.
In recent years, the province has held Jingdezhen chinaware shows in various regions throughout the world, including Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas.
However, chinaware is not the only cultural form that can help to promote Jiangxi globally, according to experts and scholars from the province.
According to the Jiangxi Bureau of Culture, the province is promoting its culture and art — including dramas, operas, acrobatics and other intangible cultural legacies — to the world.
“The global promotion of Jiangxi’s culture to the world is a comprehensive program and it requires that we should use multiple cultural and artistic forms to tell the province’s story,” said Deng Zezhou, an official at the Jiangxi Bureau of Culture.
A series of events to
an official at the Jiangxi Bureau of Culture celebrate Tang Xianzu, the celebrated Jiangxi playwright who died 400 years ago, is just one example of the province’s program of cultural promotion.
Officials from the bureau of culture said the province cooperated with the Chinese Ministry of Culture to stage dramas and operas in the United Kingdom throughout the year to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the deaths of Tang, known as “The Shakespeare of the East”, and William Shakespeare himself.
The local Ganju opera troupe has staged a number of performances adapted from the works of both playwrights in Stratford-uponAvon — the hometown of Shakespeare — and other cities in Britain.
Acrobatics is also an important part of Jiangxi’s cultural sector that is going global, according to the provincial cultural bureau.
The Jiangxi Acrobatic Troupe, for instance, has performed in a number of countries, telling the province’s story to the world.
In addition to showing their stunning skills, the acrobatic troupe has remained faithful to Jiangxi’s culture in other respects during their performances, with blue and white costumes, symbolizing the province’s distinctive chinaware, and the use of Jiangxi folk music.
In December 2015, the troupe visited several cities in Russia. Xue Yifeng, China’s ambassador to Russia, said the trip “added a taste of Jiangxi to Sino-Russian cultural exchanges”.
The promotion of Jiangxi’s culture to the world is a comprehensive program and it requires that we use multiple cultural and artistic forms to tell the province’s story.”