Don’t Chinese young people love “intangible cultural heritage”?

2020-09-01 | Elephant Guild Original |

If you live in Beijing, you probably know the roast duck in Quanjude, and you may have seen others shaking diabolo in the park. However, 80% of you have never heard of "Prince Wuwu Quarrel" and "Thirteen Drums in the Drum".

What do these things have in common? They are all members of the Beijing Municipal Intangible Cultural Heritage List.

In the first census of intangible cultural heritage in China, the total amount of intangible cultural heritage resources reported at all levels across the country reached 870,000, with an average of more than 20,000 in each provincial administrative region. Among them, most of the intangible cultural heritage resources are related to the local modernNothing happens in human life.

If you want to prove that you are a fake "XX person", you might as well look up the list of intangible cultural heritage in your hometown.

In Chinese people's lives, no intangible cultural heritage can be seen

Even if you live in Beijing, you may not know it. The picture above is an intangible cultural heritage called "Beijing Wax Fruit." As early as the Song Dynasty, this crafting technique was born.

The wax fruit used to be a common prop in film and television dramas, and it is an ornament in the fruit plate of thousands of households. At the same time, it is also a witness of modern history.

Without Beijing wax fruit, the "Pakistan Mango" in 1968 would not be able to travel to China.

·In order to let the people of the whole country witness the mangoes sent by the visitors to China, under the instruction of Chairman Mao, the Beijing Arts and Crafts Factory specially produced a batch of wax fruits and sent them to all parts of the country

In a sense, wax fruit is the "backward technology" in the food modeling industry. The cycle of making a wax fruit by hand takes half a month, and it takes time and effort.

Modern food model technology originated in Japan, originally to provide organ models for medical schools. Although this technology is not realistic, but with the help of machines and modern materials, the cost has dropped to dozens of traditional wax fruitsOne part, the production speed has also been increased to the hour level.

After the Beijing Arts and Crafts Factory ceased production, now there is only one inheritor of this intangible heritage.

There are not many intangible cultural heritages that have been successfully commercialized like Tongrentang and Quanjude. Most intangible cultural heritages in China face the same problem: being separated from real life.

·The craftsmanship of Angong Niuhuang Pills was selected as the fourth batch of intangible cultural heritage list in China

Before the aesthetic value was discovered on a large scale, intangible cultural heritage that relied on physical objects was easily replaced by industrial products at the level of practical value; performance and story non-heritage rarely appeared in popular culture.

This is exactly the opposite of the spirit of "intangible cultural heritage". The original purpose of establishing "intangible cultural heritage" was to protect the non-western, national, and not so "modern" lifestyle and the aesthetics behind it.

For social sciences, the 20th century was the century in which anthropology reached a consensus. After more than a hundred years of observation, research, and discussion of various "primitives", scholars from the West finally came to the conclusion:The lifestyle of the so-called "civilized world" is actually no more respectable than the lifestyles of hundreds of other nations in the world.

So, it is not surprising that the concept of "intangible heritage" was proposed by the Japanese.

After World War II, Japan first experienced 20 years of American cultural dumping. By the end of the 1960s, Japan’s GDP had surpassed West Germany and became the world’s second largest economy.

The recovery of the economy made the Japanese realize that their original culture and lifestyle were not shorter than others. In response to the prevailing trend of "Japanese Return Theory" in the cultural circles at that time, Japan in the 1950 "Cultural Property Protection Act",For the first time, the concept of "intangible cultural property" was clearly put forward.

The "intangible cultural heritage" we are talking about today is the translation of "intangible cultural property." This term was introduced in English from Japanese when Koichiro Matsuura became Director-General of UNESCO in 1999.

In the birthplace of the "intangible cultural heritage" trend, intangible cultural heritage and life are very closely linked. In Japan's "Promotion of the Traditional Craft Industry Act" Act 57 of 1974, the first article of the standard for identifying traditional crafts stipulates:In daily life.

All the "intangible heritage" that was reduced to heritage and disappeared were originally born as the life aesthetics of the ancestors relying on a specific form of social organization.

The two performances mentioned at the beginning of this article are "Prince Wuwu Quarrel" and "Thirteen Drums with Flags and Drums". The former is a product of folk social fire and village military equipment, while the latter is directly related to the old Beijing.Thousands of flower fairs are related.

Beijing nowadays, there are no longer Huahui, Shehuo, and village military equipment. The living soil of the two has disappeared. They can only be seen at the temple fair once a year. They are also facing the problem of aging teams and no successors..

·"Prince Wuwu Brazier" performance

We may also lose the opportunity to appreciate an art forever.

Why China's intangible cultural heritage leaves life

Chinese people do not despise their own cultural heritage more than others. As early as 50 years before the word "intangible cultural heritage" appeared, we have begun to develop intangible cultural heritage on a large scale.

It's just that the distorted development concept at that time uprooted intangible cultural heritage from the daily lives of the Chinese.

Since the 1950s, for government needs, a large number of local cultural institutions in China have organized a number of traditional handicrafts and folk operas.

The Elephant Association once wrote that in the 1950s, the government promoted a census of drama and divided 368 types of local dramas. Each province established a theater troupe to support local dramas.

Most of the "local dramas" we know were discovered and reorganized during that time and separated from the local culture.

·Sichuan Opera "Lenin in October"

The same goes for "intangible heritage" with physical support. China's national-level industrial art factory system began in the 1950s. In a public-private partnership, almost all old workshops have been incorporated.

By 1972, there were more than 1,100 arts and crafts enterprises in the country-each prefecture-level administrative unit had an average of five, with nearly 200,000 employees, and an annual output value of 1 billion yuan.

Most of the products of these factories are used for export exchange. In 1972, the output value of Chinese arts and crafts for export accounted for 80% of the total output value, in exchange for 200 million US dollars; China’s foreign exchange reserves totaled only 236 million.US dollars.

It is conceivable that the traditional aesthetics of these artifacts has not been enjoyed by ordinary people for decades.

When the new era comes, the country no longer needs to earn foreign exchange from arts and crafts. Under the offensive of Yiwu's small commodities and mass entertainment markets, it is difficult for most of China's institutionalized intangible cultural heritage to quickly turn around.

In 2001, the bankruptcy of Beijing Arts and Crafts Factory dealt a serious blow to many Beijing Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Previously, among the more than 1,500 employees of the Beijing Arts and Crafts Factory, four to five hundred were engaged in cloisonne production. After the factory went bankrupt, only a few dozen people were able to continue to engage in this industry, and all the others switched.

· Cloisonne craftsman Zhang Tonglu. After the factory went bankrupt, he opened a small company of more than 20 people and continued to do cloisonne

Until recent years, commercial cloisonne has returned to the status of national gift relying on the master studio.

This situation has been repeated throughout the country.

Chengdu's silver filigree process can stretch a one-meter-long silver bar with thick chopsticks to a thousand meters.

In 1951, all the old silver filigree workshops were incorporated into the state-owned Chengdu gold and silver jewelry factory for centralized production. In the 1980s, this expensive and complicated silverware technology was once underwritten by a company in Guangzhou and exported as tourist crafts.

In 2000, the Chengdu Gold and Silver Factory was reorganized into a company system. Under the impact of the market, the original team was lost.

Now there are no more than five people who master all silver filigree skills in the country. With the enthusiasm of the jewellery industry for this strange skill, they are reabsorbing vitality.

The fleece embroidery introduced to Shanghai by nuns more than 100 years ago is called "Oriental Oil Painting" and contributed three huge works to the Great Hall of the People. At its peak, Shanghai Red Star Fleece Embroidery Factory and Dongfang Fleece Embroidery Factory each had threeMore than one hundred employees produce thousands of products every year.

In the 1990s, the number of orders dropped. The two factories merged and reorganized first, and then went out of business. Now, there are only 8 city-level inheritors of Shanghai style cashmere embroidery.

The see-saw of nationalization and marketization has brought about the loss of talents. Today, among the 3,068 national non-genetic inheritors in China, only 9% are under the age of 40.

Who should lead the inheritance and protection of "intangible cultural heritage"? Let's take a look at Japan again.

In the protection of cultural heritage in Japan, the degree of private participation and the right to speak is much higher than in China. In the Japanese view, Kabuki, handicrafts, various sacrificial customs, etc., are not so much national treasures as they areIt is a cultural asset of genres, places and families.

For the "national treasures"-Japan's non-hereditary inheritors, the skills at hand are more like a personal hobby and a part of daily life. Therefore, relying on the modern master-disciple relationship and the secret way of spreading, in Japan is notHeritage areas are very common.

Under the protection of this system, Japan's "intangible cultural heritage" is closer to life.

The output of traditional crafts nationwide in Japan peaked in 1984 Showa 59, and then began to decline. Today, the output is only one-fifth of the peak, but most of it is caused by the decline of kimono, ceramics and lacquerware are stillMaintain production levels.

Until recently, China began to realize that it is not feasible to rely on the system to protect traditional culture.

During the five years from the 18th National Congress to the end of 2017, the central government invested a total of 4.6 billion yuan and the local government invested 3.9 billion yuan in intangible heritage protection.

Most of this huge sum of money is used for non-hereditary inheritance subsidies, construction of intangible cultural ecological areas, and according to the "Chinese Traditional Crafts Revitalization Plan" formulated in 2016 to help local enterprises re-expand commercial channels for traditional handicrafts.

This is equivalent to recognizing that individual-based commercial industrialization is the guarantee of the vitality of "intangible cultural heritage" from the national level.

However, to promote the return of intangible cultural heritage to the public eye, China still has an important bottom-up force.

Who makes Chinese intangible cultural heritage return to the public

Before and after the 2005 census of intangible cultural heritage, China experienced a short and absurd wave of "intangible cultural heritage declarations", with a large number of products produced and reported indiscriminately.

For example, the famous Dong Yong legend, because there is no credible source, it has to juxtapose 7 declared areas, including Jiangsu, Henan, and Hubei, resulting in Dong Yong’s hometown everywhere in China.

·Dong Yong’s Hometown in Runan County, Henan, Dongtai in Jiangsu, Ma'anshan in Anhui, Boxing in Shandong, Xiaogan in Hubei, and Wanrong in Shanxi expressed dissatisfaction

After receiving 870,000 pieces of resources, the experts realized that such declarations can only increase waste paper.

China’s intangible cultural heritage has really regained popularity among the public, in fact, in recent years. First on Weibo and Moments, then on live broadcast platforms and short video platforms.

On the Chinese network, "Resurgence of the Ancient Style" started nearly ten years ago. Fans of games such as fairy sword and ancient sword, fans of novels and anime began to gather slowly and firmly, creating new circles such as Hanfu, Gufeng Song, and poetry..

Although the level of "Gufeng" fans is uneven, they have brought the "Gufeng" into the mainstream aesthetic and their daily lives step by step amidst controversy.

The Internet has turned everything into an attention economy, and "intangible cultural heritage" is no exception. Under the influence of this trend, traditional skills and performances have regained the attention of popular culture, and they promoted that they contained a certain "intangible cultural heritage" and became IPThe propaganda caliber used by dramas.

· "Beat Tree Flowers" in "Strategy of Yanxi Palace" is the first time this art has entered film and television works. The real non-genetic inheritor participated in the performance

From 2017, major mainstream live broadcast platforms began to get together to broadcast intangible cultural heritage. After that, short video platforms joined in and became an important town for intangible cultural heritage transmission.

Currently, non-genetic inheritors are becoming online celebrities.

The Internet celebrities in the short video era do not rely on the head and business operations. A technology that can make people shout is enough to attract traffic and convert it into purchasing power.

There are 1372 national intangible cultural heritage projects in China. 88.4% of them, or 1214, can be found on Douyin. These related videos have been played more than 106.5 billion times, which is 76 times the population of China.

Xiangshan, Zhejiang, 61-year-old Zhang Xinrong can make bamboo silk as thin as his hair. He made bamboo for a lifetime, the hottest time, a video received 980,000 likes and 200,000 comments on the day it was released.

No matter what era, this can be called a miracle of communication. People asked him in the comments: "Is bamboo weaving easy to learn?"

The operating model of "intangible cultural heritage internet celebrities" is no different from ordinary internet celebrities. How the public appreciates the performances of internet celebrities and snaps up various artifacts of life through them, so how can they appreciate and snap up the best in ChinaCultural heritage.

In the 1960s, Gerberner proposed the role of "media acculturation". The core point of view is that the more a person sees something in the media, the more subtly he will think that such things in life are more important.many.

On TV and the Internet, traditional Chinese culture has gradually expanded its voice and constructed a way of life that attracts people to imitate. If you want to practice this way of life, you can’t do without various "intangible heritage."

Relying on acculturation, China's "intangible cultural heritage" has regained the mass base that had been lost for 70 years, stepped out of the art factory and local art troupe, and returned to daily life with the help of e-commerce.

According to a report released by a treasure of Universal, in 2018, Chinese people bought nearly 1.2 billion "intangible cultural heritage" and "old brand" on this platform alone, an average of 2 for each consumer.

Maybe one day, we will be "happy" to discover that the original tangible cultural heritage is more difficult to protect.

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Text|Zhang Mansheng

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