Documentaries to highlight Chinese culture, traditions and the spirit of China's craftsmanship
A series of documentaries in English with Chinese subtitles will be aired at a local TV channel during the coming Chinese New Year holiday to highlight the nation’s culture, traditions and craftsmanship.
The series, “China Panorama,” includes a four-episode documentary called “The Peony” which focuses on the popular Luoyang peony. With various varieties and colors, the Luoyang peony has long been hailed as the “queen of the flower court,” ruling over all other flowers.
In Luoyang, central China’s Henan Province, the peony was treasured for its medicinal value as well as its beauty. Many literati have written poems about their passion for peonies.
In the documentary, viewers will get to have a nostalgic look back on the peony motif on a number of household items, which were made in the mid-1950s and 60s. Bedding, vases, basins and even marriage licenses were decorated with the peony, which symbolizes a happy and prosperous life.
The three-episode series “Masters in the Forbidden City” follows the lives of relic restorers at the Palace Museum, who painstakingly piece together antiques that are thousands of years old.
The Palace Museum is home to China’s largest collection of relics. Ancient bronze vessels and porcelain, traditional paintings and masterpieces of calligraphy, as well as delicate wood-carving works dating back hundreds of years.
It draws over 10 million visitors from across the world each year. However, restoring these masterpieces and preserving them is a mammoth task. Most of the time, restorers need to follow ancient techniques that cannot be taught from books.
The documentary focuses on the young restorers, who were born in the 1970s and 1980s, and reveals the advanced repair technologies.
“Porcelain Story, Part 6” traces the interaction between China and other cultures of the world. Starting in the 9th century, Chinese porcelain found a popular home in almost every country’s palace. Many foreign adventurers came to China in search of fine porcelain.
The final part of “Porcelain Story” highlights the entrepreneurship, adventure, wealth, war and porcelain pieces recovered from ancient sunken ships along the most of the important coastal ports of the world, from Asia to Rome.
TV channel: ICS, or International Channel Shanghai
The Peony: February 15-16, 9am-11am
Masters in the Forbidden City: February 17-18, 9am-11am
Porcelain Story, Part 6: February 17-18, 8:30pm-9pm