Cultural Revitalisation of Art Practices in Zhejiang Province, China, Lensed Through the Concept of Xiang Chou (Nostalgia/Memories)
Xiang, (Echo) Shan
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In recent years, the art and creative industries have been a major driving force in the post-industrial economy of the People’s Republic of China. A potential negative consequence of the large-scale construction of the cultural and creative industry is the imbalance of hard and soft infrastructures. The hard infrastructure is China’s construction of cultural facilities (e.g., galleries, museums, art clusters, cultural production business clusters). And creative practitioners, arts management profes- sionals, and curators who understand interdisciplinary knowledge in arts, and have business and in- ternational experience, generate soft power. Recent cultural studies provide evidence and snapshots of the ongoing “first-class venue and third-class management” problem across the creative industry in China. This project reviewed relevant knowledge and case studies and conducted interviews with critical stakeholders for the early data collection of the research, then incorporated service design principles through the lens of Xiang Chou (Chinese nostalgia mode) to create potential opportu- nities for attracting funding from local (regional) government, private investors, and sponsors to support cultural revitalisation projects. The expert interviews show that the art community is in need of curatorial support and arts man- agement support. Additionally, the art dealers and artists call for more effective communication and a rewiring of their heritage and culture by making connections with each other and with other similar communities both in and outside of China. This research developed a service-design-based proposal for the regional artists and art dealers in Lishui. The concept proposal communicates a framework for arts managers and creative industry sectors to work on analogous projects in the region and transfer knowledge across various potential cultural enhancement projects. It is hoped this study will inform practitioners and curators about cultural revitalisation projects with strategic service design methods to acquire funding and make effective connections, and to engage with wider audiences, domestically and internationally.