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Crafts and Arts online classes in Hangzhou, UNESCO Creative City


One of the seven ancient Chinese capitals, Hangzhou is a UNESCO Creative City of Crafts and Folk Art. Known for its diverse handicraft traditions, the city also highlights various creative facets through its silk and tea production, and porcelain and bronze sculptures. Recognized as the ‘National Cultural and Creative Centre’ by the Government of China, Hangzhou has transformed its secondary and tertiary industries through the development of its cultural and creative industries. Hangzhou’s rich history and culture have proven to be particularly vital in this transformation that helped the city preserve its traditional craft industries.

Facing the current epidemic, Hangzhou has encouraged institutions and practitioners from various arts and crafts sectors to use their knowledge to carry out COVID-19 awareness raising activities, and to continue providing access to the city’s traditional intangible heritage. These activities enable inhabitants to improve their knowledge on the ways to fight the virus while experiencing a positive and optimistic cultural life.

In this context, the Hangzhou Museum of Arts and Crafts has set up a series of online cultural courses titled ‘Crafts and Arts cloud classroom’ dedicated to sharing the city’s rich historic heritage. Through storytelling, the initiative aims to make inhabitants aware of the city’s rich heritage and augments visibility and access to intangible cultural heritage through digital means. Followed by more than 30,000 people, the online classroom has been a great success. The Museum Studios, represented by the provincial Arts and Crafts Masters, have also created anti-pandemic themed works to improve awareness on preventive measures and promote a positive spirit.

In addition, the Hangzhou Arts and Crafts Association has launched the online learning project ‘Master & Apprentice’, that gives the opportunity to national arts and crafts masters from various sectors, such as woodcarving, pottery, porcelain, embroidery and bronze, to share their creative skills with the public. More than 1000 arts and crafts lovers have already subscribed to these videos.