By Crossing Collective
The Heritage Project is an initiative that aims to integrate traditional Chinese craft with contemporary art and design.
The project will sponsor artist residencies in which contemporary artists will study under traditional master craftspeople in China who engage in practices recognized by UNESCO as an "intangible cultural heritage."Following the residency, artists will use the techniques they learned to be flexibly applied to contemporary art and become practical items.
Intangible cultural heritage is defined as the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills – as well as the instruments, objects, artifacts and cultural spaces associated therewith – that communities, groups, and in some cases, individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage.
Examples of Chinese intangible cultural heritage that the Heritage Project is focusing on are traditional lanterns, paper cutting, Jingdezhen ceramics, lacquerware, hand weaving, and Su embroidery.
There is currently a gap between traditional craftsmanship and the aesthetics and needs of contemporary society. In many cases, these intangible assets have diminished in relevance today and continue to declined in practice. Since the second half of the 20th century, the protection of intangible cultural heritage has gradually become an international issue. In October of 2003, UNESCO adopted the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage at the 23rd General Assembly, which made the protection of intangibles the basis of international law.
The purpose of this project is to promote the intangible cultural heritage under the concept of protection and inheritance, and to create a platform to promote the cross-border cooperation between intangible cultural heritage, design, and art in various regions of China.
This project is being executed by Crossing Collective, a subsidiary of Crossing Art that aims to facilitate cross-cultural activities and to promote the role of contemporary art and design in society.