Exhibition about Shandong eco-culture area opens in Beijing
A month-long exhibition running from July 23 to August 23 at Prince Kung's Mansion in Beijing will showcase the achievements of a national-level eco-culture protection area in Shandong province, it was announced at a news conference on Saturday.
The exhibition, about the Wei Waters Protection Area in Weifang, Shandong province, will provide visitors with a panoramic overview of local intangible cultural heritage, folklore, history and other cultural aspects through exhibits, video works and photography.
Performances of local folk art and demonstrations of local handicraft-making will also take place at Prince Kung's Mansion to provide visitors with a deeper insight into local culture.
The Wei Waters Protection Area was set up in 2010 as the country's ninth national-level eco-cultural protection area designated by the Ministry of Culture, today's Ministry of Culture and Tourism. It was named after the Weishui (Wei Waters) River, which runs through Weifang.
Covering 16,100 square kilometers, the area is famous for its kite-making, handmade embroidery and many other types of handicrafts. Two forms of local folk art were inscribed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List, and 16 more were added to the list of China's national intangible cultural heritage.
The area also has 17 registered cultural heritage sites under key national-level protection, as well as 168 provincial-level heritage sites.
According to Sun Lijun, head of the cultural department with the Weifang city government, more than 60 million yuan ($9 million) has been allocated by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism to support the Wei Waters Area on top of the 10 billion yuan already spent by the local government on improving the protected area.
In terms of kite-making, there are 1,847 enterprises and family-run workshops involved in the industry in the area, with an annual turnover of around 2 billion yuan.
Courses relating to intangible cultural heritage have opened in more than 1,000 local schools, in a bid to nurture new expertise in the traditional arts.