Artisans build more complete picture of China

By Zheng Wanyin in London | China Daily Global | Updated: 2024-06-05 01:12
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A Portuguese student wears a Chinese-style floral headdress, known as a zanhua, on May 18. The headdress style originates from Quanzhou, East China’s Fujian province. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Crafters want Westerners to see full range of talents, Zheng Wanyin reports in London.

Sitting in her office in central London surrounded by exquisite traditional Chinese dresses known as qipao, round fans and repurposed porcelain plates, Zhang Jie laments: "It's a bit regrettable that when people think of Chinese things, their first impression remains as cheap and low quality.

"They still think we Chinese people are not able to create things, while actually, we are far beyond that. We do create, and there are many highly skilled craftsmen in China who dedicate their entire lives to mastering a craft."

For six years, Zhang and her partner Xiao Yueqi have been facilitating the global expansion of Chinese artists as the co-founders of China Garden, a London-based commercial platform that introduces and sells the works of Chinese artisans in the United Kingdom.

While admitting the challenge of breaking the stereotypes surrounding "made-in-China" products, she has also observed an encouraging trend: a growing number of Chinese people are experiencing increased cultural confidence, and are committed to making their voices heard by promoting their culture globally.

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