Intangible cultural heritage (ICH) differs from the preservation of cultural relics. The former needs innovation and development, and the latter authenticity. However, some ICH parks failed to survive for they did not integrate ICH with or introduce creative products to people’s daily life. How can we address the challenge? International Intangible Cultural Heritage Town, in Xiuhu Park of Bishan District, Chongqing recently, tries to answer that question with ICH innovation & industrial activation chain and culture-tourism integration.
Rely on design to empower ICH industrial growth
As a regular theme event of the Town, Intangible Cultural Heritage International Design Week kicked off simultaneously. Zeng Hui, Executive Deputy Director of Beijing Design Week and Director of Beijing Gehua Creative Design Center, thought ICH should be woven into modern life to play its role better.
The 1st edition of the event will be held during the 2019 National Day golden week, with sections like Opening Ceremony, ICH Design Theme Exhibition, ICH Design Forum, Products Fair of ICH Poverty Alleviation and Employment Promotion Workshop, Journey of ICH Design. Its theme will be ICH Creativity & Beautiful Life. The event plans to launch permanent activities for international public cultural exchange in Xiuhu Park. In response to that, it will pool brilliant ICH creative design projects from Beijing Design Week, and integrate ICH with modern life, sticking with the principle of Seeing People, Objects, and Life.
The Town stands next to Chongqing University Town. Once coming into being, it will offer a display space, a creative space and an experimental exhibition area, which covers 1,000 m2, 1,800 m2 and 3,000 m2 respectively, for students and teachers. Accordingly, these people are expected to become ICH inheritors and developers.
Explore new ways to develop the Town
Bishan District makes further efforts to protect, improve, and inherit ICH, and lead ICH into modern life via culture-tourism integration. Some of them are building the Town, and implanting National ICH Activation Experience Center, ICH Commodities Exhibition Center, ICH Property Transaction Center and ICH Startups Incubation Base in it.
The South Gate of Xiuhu Park will welcome Urban Tourists Center, ICH Products Property Transaction Center, Tourist Commodities Trade Center, ICH Innovation Data Cloud, and Tourism Big Data Cloud Platforms. Bishan History and Culture Research Institute is expected to build a related panoramic movie town. Xiuhu Shuijie plans to establish an ICH industrial chain and headquarters economy core zone of ICH industry.
Nineteen domestic and foreign ICH companies signed to settle down in the Town on that day. The number of such companies is estimated to reach 100 gradually. Ou Handong, member of the Standing Committee of CPC Bishan District Committee and Director of Publicity Department of Bishan District, said: “The Town will not accept all ICH companies.” It will find a committee of experts to review the qualifications of applicants. Only those compliant with the Town’s planning and capable of innovation can be introduced in. Additionally, it is going to establish a selection mechanism. Companies should move out of the town upon lease expiration if they are not qualified for their roles.
According to Ou, the Town, as a base to preserve and inherit intangible cultural heritage, aims to select outstanding products via market and foster more inheritors.