Craft and creative events rolled into one

Wu Huixin
The 17th Hangzhou Culture and Creative Industry Expo will incorporate the Hangzhou China Craft Week, giving visitors two cultural events for the price of one.
Wu Huixin

The 17th Hangzhou Culture and Creative Industry Expo opens today, and will run through November 27. Organizers have integrated the Hangzhou China Craft Week within the fair, so visitors can enjoy two cultural extravaganzas for the price of one.

Themed "Creative Hangzhou, Connecting World," the expo takes place in two venues: Hangzhou Baima Lake International Exhibition Center and China International Cartoon and Animation Museum.

The main venue by the Baima Lake comprises five sections: International Fashion Brands, Beautiful Cultural Heritages, City Impression, New Generation Power, and Borderless Future.

Visitors will also experience an immersive and interactive digital cultural event with the theme of "Cloud Song Dynasty Vibe" at the online exposition.

In the two offline venues, around 500 global top-tier brands will present their creations. This year, foreign organizations and firms from 60 countries and regions will be participating in the expo, accounting for 50 percent of the exhibition area. Over 70 percent of them will be making their debut in China during the expo.

For years, the expo has been a focal point of the cultural and creative industries, attracting top designers and firms looking for a niche and specific clientele.

Craft and creative events rolled into one
Ti Gong

Mr. Rose by French artist Philippe Katerine

For example, the Italian area will host 10 Italian design brands. ALESSI, founded in 1921, is a leading exponent of the "factories of Italian design," creating kitchenware that is innovative and functional.

Philippe Katerine, a French artist, designed Mr. Rose for the French section. The pink bubble-gum figures express French passion and optimism.

The Scandinavian display area is a must-see for anyone interested in Nordic design. It will showcase normcore-style children's brands such as Silly Silas, Vacvac Studio and POM POM.

There are also nearly 2,000 innovative products designed around pandas from 40 manufacturers at the site.

The China Academy of Art has created the Borderless Future area. It blended virtual reality and artificial intelligence technologies to create a hyper-immersive setting and realistic audio-visual future cities. Visitors will get the feeling of journeying through time to a cyberpunk world.

One of the centerpieces of the online expo is to revive the life and work of the Song Dynasty (960–1279). Visitors can experience classic cultural heritages such as papermaking, moveable type printing and woodcut printing, using virtual reality facilities.

Trade and talent development will be the focus during conferences, summits and seminars. Professionals will discuss industry concerns, trends and collaborations.

Since its inception in 2007, the expo has grown to become one of China's four greatest cultural and creative trade exhibitions. The others are in Beijing, Shenzhen in Guangdong Province and Yiwu in Zhejiang Province.

Hangzhou has long been known for its cultural and creative industries. Last year, the industry's added value reached 242 billion yuan (US$33.9 billion), a 4-percent increase year on year.

The expo has evolved over time into a platform for developing the city's creative industry and promoting economic reform.

Craft and creative events rolled into one
Ti Gong

Chinese craftwork with modern designs

Alongside the expo, the China Craft Week this year provides another opportunity to showcase the unique charm of Chinese crafts and their integration with modern designs.

In 2012, Hangzhou was designated a UNESCO Creative City of Craft, and since then, the event has evolved into a showcase for a wealth of intangible cultural heritages as well as the strength of new generation designers.

Previously, organizers invited old masters of traditional folk arts who were striving to attract new blood. With the passing of time, tastes change. It is primarily up to devoted artisans to keep the art alive.

Organizers moved their focus this year to young artists who are pioneering new methods to communicate established styles.

Young designers and craftsmen are revitalizing old crafts with creative concepts in an effort to help preserve historic craftsmanship. Visitors could see their latest works, which were practical and innovative.

Craft and creative events rolled into one
Ti Gong

Traditional folk toys and festival toys

If you go

Date: Through November 27

Admission: 30 yuan

Venue 1: Baima Lake International Convention and Exhibition Center

Address: 336 Changjiang Rd


Venue 2: China International Cartoon and Animation Museum

Address: 375 Baimahu Rd


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