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Crafting Hangzhou's 'future tradition'

Updated: 2023-10-09 09:15 ( China Daily )
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They've also created artworks with distinctive Chinese characteristics that are themed on silk, bamboo, earth and metal.

In 2015, the three cofounded the Rong Design Library, a project that focuses on the protection and preservation of traditional Chinese crafts and materials, the first of its kind in the country.

"Rong, a common Chinese character, refers to melting and fusing," explained Jovana, "melting and deconstructing traditional Chinese crafts into materials and techniques and fusing them into contemporary design, 'future tradition', as I call it".

Two years later, the team decided to move the library from urban Hangzhou to rural Qingshan, where "it is closer to nature and tradition", she said, and a disused auditorium was restored to serve as the location.

Now, the wooden rammed-earth auditorium, which itself uses traditional Chinese architectural materials and skills, houses thousands of traditional Chinese handicraft materials, such as paper, textiles and ceramics, among others.

It doubles as an artistic residency. A few dozen of top artists and designers from home and abroad have stayed in the library, drawing inspiration from Chinese crafts for their creations.


The arrival of these artists has undoubtedly reignited enthusiasm for the cultural traditions of Qingshan and helped the village's rural vitalization efforts and pursuit of common prosperity by boosting its cultural and tourism industries. Figures show that some 30,000 visitors travel to the village each year and its collective annual income has grown to more than 1.5 million yuan ($207,800).

The picturesque landscape in and around Qingshan village has also proved to be a boon for outdoor enthusiasts like Jovana, an avid cyclist, and John, a roller-skating aficionado.

"I would very much like to watch some of the Games in person," said Jovana, who has been following the Asiad closely. "But the tickets are all sold out!"


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