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New generation digs old values

By Wang Kaihao | China Daily | Updated: 2019-04-03 09:15

Hong Kong actor Elvis Tsui finds bliss in art off screen.
[Photo provided to China Daily]

Finding ways to sustain

Li says he expects the show to run for many seasons. But faith alone cannot support such a long project, which has a relatively slow pace and subtle emotions.

Li Bing, the chief supervisor of documentaries at Youku, says The Great Shokunin still needs a development model in the long run.

"It's not necessary that something beautiful in a niche market cannot be widely accepted as well. But continuous exploration is needed to see how viewers can express support for the artisans' feelings through the products."

In the first season, for example, the documentary was linked with an online shopping platform and enabled viewers to immediately order interesting craft items made by the artisans.

However, this was stopped in the second season, because on the one hand, you had items made with time and energy but were too expensive for the young audience, and on the other hand, the artisans often could not meet the demand for products even if viewers could afford them.

But Li Bing now has another idea - he plans to ask the artisans from The Great Shokunin to design products using elements from traditional culture.

For instance, he says the show recently reached an agreement with the National Museum of China to use its huge collection of cultural relics as an inspiration to develop more products.

"We have to face the public, not a few consumers," he says. "For young people, traditional craftsmanship is not an old and remote relative. It can be their close friend."


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