Prov­ince adds more strings to its cul­tural bow

China Daily (USA) - - JIANGXI SPECIAL - By ZHAO SHUJUN zhaoshu­jun@chi­nadaily.com. cn

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

Deng Zezhou,

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.”

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