Beijing revives traditional art through historic block protection
BEIJING, July 16 (Xinhua) -- From Chinese shadow puppetry, horsehair-made dolls and paper-cutting to Rabbit God clay figurines, traditional handicraft arts are being revived in a restored historic building in the renowned tourist destination of Shichahai in downtown Beijing.
As the 560 year-old Guangfu Taoist Temple reopened on Tuesday after a year long renovation, it gave 1,500 square meters of its floor space to an exhibition of Beijing's folk art.
The temple is one of 52 historic sites in Xicheng District brought under Beijing's 2016-2020 cultural renovation and protection plan, said Jia Wenjing, deputy director of the municipal bureau of culture and tourism.
"All of the sites are located in traditional hutongs or alleyways. In addition to renovation, the local authorities introduced new management methods so that the buildings can be used to lively present Beijing's history and tradition," Jia said.
She said the government had entrusted a cultural institute to run the temple, which introduced new technology such as digital sand table simulation and AR to present the historical background and techniques of over 100 traditional handicraft art relics.
Shichahai is one of Beijing's must-see tourist destinations with historic buildings in alleyways surrounding a scenic lake. Many lakeside buildings have been turned into bars.
Under Beijing's planning of storing historical blocks, the city authorities urged to keep the traditional characteristics and put traditional culture and intangible cultural heritage under protection.
Beijing has designated 33 historical blocks including the renowned tourist destinations of Shichahai, Dashilan and Nanluoguxiang, which cover 20.6 square km in total. Renovation work in the blocks is still underway.