Designing for Inclusivity and Community

The Future of Sportswear

Many Truths to Speak: The Changing Ecology of Documentary Industry in China

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Director of arts at British Council China talks about China’s square dancing

October 23, 2020
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The Ultimate Introduction to Social Media in China

June 12, 2020
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“Full Moon in Beijing, Love Across China” – 2021 “Lugou Xiaoyue” Mid-Autumn Festival Grand Event Showcased in Beijing Garden Expo – PRNewswire

September 23, 2021
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Art-and-craft feast rolls through Shanghai Tourism Festival – SHINE

September 23, 2021
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Lives of authors – Chinadaily.com.cn – Chinadaily USA

September 23, 2021
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‘Ugliest building’ competition spotlights China’s latest bizarre architecture – CNN

September 23, 2021
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#ReConnect – 2021 UK-China Contemporary Culture Festival call for proposals

July 20, 2021

Context While travel to and from China is still limited, the British Council China Arts Team is working to create ongoing engagement opportunities to share British arts culture and educational opportunities with audiences in China.  The pandemic has created many challenges for the UK arts and cultural sector, but it has also led to the growth of innovation, artists, producer’s museums, designers and other creative professionals have evolved their practice and quickly developed new ways of collaborating, experimenting and sharing their work.  The British Council in China wishes to share latest developments and cultural experiences from the UK with audiences in China through a festival that will take place online and offline. The festival titled #ReConnect will build on everything the team has learnt from the delivery of the 3 week festival that took place in October 2020, which reached over 11.9 million people in China.  China has a unique digital ecology, many UK arts and cultural organisations do not have social media platforms or channels that are accessible in China, the 2021 edition of the festival will create an opportunity for UK partners to share their work with audiences in China using accessible channels in China.  With both online and offline events taking place across China, we hope this year’s edition of the festival will attract an even larger audience and help to reconnect people in China with the breadth and diversity of UK arts culture and educational opportunities.  Festival Concept  We often forget that WE ARE NATURE. Nature is not something separate from us. So when we say that we have lost our connection to nature, we've lost our connection to ourselves.                      Andy Goldsworthy, British Sculptor, Photographer and Environmentalist  The 2021 UK China Contemporary Culture festival will feature work by leading British art and cultural organisations and artists, the festival will offer audiences the opportunity to #Reconnect with British art and culture from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England.  Online and face to face events will seek to use the transformative power of the arts to inspire audiences to consider our shared global challenges such as humanity’s relationship with the natural environment.  The 2021 Festival has 3 themes they are: ReConnect with nature, ReConnect with community and ReConnect with self. Programme Structure of the Festival #Reconnect will feature: Panel discussions, special tours of British art exhibitions in China, opportunities for dialogue with leading and emerging British Artists, Producers, Writers, Musicians, Designers, Filmmakers and so much more. Programme Content Selection  Through an Open Call for Proposals, organisations and individuals will be selected to share their content with us Applicants will be expected to submit basic information and project proposals through this online form. The Festival Advisory Curatorial Team will review the longlist of the proposed cultural content after the open call deadline. We will select up to 12 successful proposals to feature in the festival.Open call will run from 30 June to 20 July 2021 More information, please visit here.

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UNESCO Media Arts Cities collaborate Call for Artists: City to City 2021 PLAY! Changsha

June 30, 2021

After a successful first edition, UNESCO Creative Cities of Media Arts are launching a worldwide open call for professional and emerging artists and artists teams. In this way, we want to mark our commitment to the importance of cooperation and support art and creativity as major forces for sustainable development in these times of uncertainty. Thanks to this initiative, we will bring together artists from around the world to collaborate in teams on a digital art project for three months. Apply for the open call City to City 2021: PLAY! While in the project's first edition, the final artworks were united by the theme of Human Responsibility, this year the artists will focus on the theme of PLAY! Their task is to address the following questions: Can technology (e.g., AI in art) help us build a more sustainable and collective future?Can we use our creative talents to help rebuild our cities, relationships, and communities, but better than beforeThe COVID-19 crisis has significantly changed how we live, work, perceive art and cultural heritage. What are ideas or concepts can help us responsibly shape the future?Can we imagine a fairer, more sustainable future?Can we use our technologies to help us learn to play again?What will happen when we press Play? Structure The goal of the City to City project is to encourage artists to work collaboratively, yet online, on a project related to the theme. The artists will be teamed up during a mediation process at City to City LAB sessions, which coaches-curators will lead from participating cities. These events are designed to provide selected participants with a deeper understanding of the theme, present ideas, introduce them, and allow them to choose a partner to collaborate with. The project relies on several core values, including intercultural collaboration, artistic/city diversity, innovation, solidarity, knowledge transfer, and experience sharing.Each successful applicant will receive a scholarship of € 2,000 to create a digital piece in a team between September and November 2021. The results of residencies will be shared on digital platforms and presented during festivals in the UNESCO Creative Cities of Media Arts. Timeline Application deadline: June 30thEvaluation and selection: July 1st to 16thArtists acceptance: by July 19thAnnouncement of selections: July 22ndResidency: September 1st – November 22nd 2021Presentation of the final works: until October 2022 Eligibility The call is open to professional artists, groups, and creatives in one of the Creative Cities of Media Arts (e.g. their place of birth, employment, etc.) Austin (USA), Braga (Portugal), Calí (Colombia), Changsha (China), Dakar (Senegal), Enghien-Les-Bains (France), Guadalajara (Mexico), Gwangju (South Korea), Karlsruhe (Germany), Sapporo (Japan), Toronto (Canada), Viborg (Denmark), York (United Kingdom), and Košice (Slovakia). Application The Application Form can be found here.Completed applications must be received by 5pm on Wednesday 30 June. Further information about the project can be found here.

Planet 8 residency

PLAN8T Open Call for 2021 Summer Artist-In-Residence

July 12, 2021

The Invisible Sounds In the immense solitude of the ocean, a whale called Alice was once thought to be the loneliest whale in the world. Not following the usual baleen whale migratory channels, Alice was found in the sea nearly half a world away from the usual pathway. While others of her kind communicate between 12 and 25Hz, Alice sings at 51.75Hz. Insects chirp, birds cry, water flows, leaves fall, flowers bloom - everything in the world emits sound waves at its frequency, producing a variety of sounds that intertwine to form a 'picture' other than the visual. As a part of the ecological environment, human behavior also produces different sounds. Sound flows, surrounds, and fills the air, and when we close our eyes, we can still hear the many messages we capture to perceive our surroundings. Transmitted through a medium, sounds lie between objects and forms, so that it is born in the movement of everything and shuttles through the gaps of the world. It cannot be touched, it cannot be captured, but it is everywhere. It flows, it caresses, it fills the air, and when we close our eyes, we can still hear and capture a variety of information to perceive the environment around us. Sounds, representing the complex contexts, intertwined with circumstance and reveals. Acting on the sensory nerves, sound becomes a paintbrush for memories, feelings and emotions. It is fed back into our brains instantaneously, simultaneously awakening our perceptions and imaginations, portraying spaces and scenes in our minds. Hearing sound is being involved in the backstory of it and then subjectively interpret the situation. To vocalise and listen is a process of creation. Co-organised by Planet P8 and Holon, this residency programme aims to discover these 'invisible sounds', to connect with the world through another sense, and to present the environment in a way that mobilises emotional arousal. We expect this programme for artists who use sound as an object and material for their artistic practice to communicate, give voice to the ground, to create, experiment and interact. Programme Timeline Application deadline: July 12Notification on Results: July 17Duration of residency: August 1 to September 10 (This includes actual residence time and exhibition preparation time)Opening of the exhibition: 11 SeptemberDuration of the exhibition: 12 September to 31 October Considering the travel restrictions of epidemic and the particularity of sound media that can spread across distances, the program will be conducted remotely and physically. We will recruit 3-4 artists able to stay and work at PLAN8T, 3-4 artists living outside of China who will participate remotely. Artists who work in residence and remotely will be able to communicate and share throughout the residency cycle. Artworks created by artists during their stay will be exhibited in Museum of Waste from 12 September to 31 October. Eligibility Sound is required to use as material or subject matter in the creation of artStrong artistic background and extensive independent art- create an experienceNo restriction on nationalityDue to the special period of pandemic precautionary control, for the on-site residency we are only recruiting artists who have arrived in Changsha and finished their quarantine before the start of the residency period, we apologise for any inconvenience caused Application materials Please send the following documents by email to p8residency@joinp8.com with the subject line "2021SUMMER_P8AIR" and indicate in the body of the email whether you wish to participate on-site or remotely by the deadline: 1. Portfolio***Please send a pdf file containing images and text of the artwork; if the work is recorded as video or audio, please put all online links in a pdf file or compress the files into a folder2. Introduction to the artist and a description of the artwork (Artist CV, Portrait photo of the artist, A 500-word creative plan for the residency) For more information, please visit the website.

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New Plan | Beijing to Promote the Construction of the National Cultural Center in the medium and long-term (2019-2035)

8 May, 2020

On 9, April 2020, the plan "Beijing to Promote the Construction of the National Cultural Center in the medium and long-term (2019-2035)” was officially released for the planning period to 2035, and ahead to 2050. It focuses on the question "what sort of capital are we are looking for? How do we build this capital?". The plan aims to help build the capital’s culture and developing construction for cultural center that serve the capital’s economic and social development. The strategic positioning of the plan is to consolidate, innovate, communicate and provide services. The development goal is that by 2025, the status of the National Cultural Centre will have significantly enhanced, the quality of civil society and urban civilization will have significantly improved, and the leadership of national cultural construction will be more prominent. Objectives by 2035: to have fully built the advanced cultural capital of socialism with Chinese characteristics, to have a more systematic function of the national cultural center, to have a stronger driving force for economic and social development of the capital, and to significantly enhance the international influence of the capital’s culture to become a world historical and cultural city that demonstrates cultural confidence and inclusive charm. Looking forward to 2050: To further consolidate the status of the cultural capital of socialism with Chinese characteristics, to gather cultural talents, to release the cultural creativity of the people, to develop the socialist spiritual civilization in a comprehensive and coordinated manner, and to make cultural awareness and cultural self-confidence more prominent. Beijing will stand among the world's cities with a higher profile, becoming a symbol of the world's culture that promotes Chinese civilization and leads the trends of our times. Forbidden City, Beijing Photo by Kubwimana Louis de Gonzague on Unsplash The construction of the National Cultural Center will be in accordance with the "four cultures", Namely, ancient capital culture, red culture, Beijing culture and innovation culture, in the overall framework of “one core, one city, three belts and two districts". One core is the core value of socialism with Chinese characteristics. One city means the historical and cultural city. Three belts represent the Grand Canal Cultural Belt, the Great Wall Cultural Belt and the Xishan Yongding River Cultural Belt. The two districts are the public cultural service districts and the leading cultural industry development districts. Beijing Old Town Protection to focus on creating 13 cultural highlights. The Old Town is a key area for the protection of Beijing's historical and cultural city. Beijing will implement the requirements of "the old city can no longer be dismantled”, promoting the overall protection and revival of the old city through the World Heritage Site application of the Central Axis, and focusing on creating 13 areas of cultural significance. The plan proposes that Beijing will focus on creating 13 cultural highlights in accordance with the requirements of “One Street, One Policy". These include: · Shichahai - Nanluoguxiang· Lama Temple - Chinese Confusion Temple· Zhang Zizhong Road North - New Taicang· Zhang Zizhong Road South – Dongsi· Dongsi South· Baita Temple - Xisi· Imperial City· Tiananmen Square· Dongjiaomingxiang· Nannao Shikou· Liulichang - Dashilan - Qianmen· Xuanxi - Fayuan Temple· Temple of Heaven – Xianlongtan At the same time, to gradually expand the scope of protection of historical and cultural neighborhoods, respecting and maintaining the hutong pattern and spatial design of the old city. In principle, the existing streets in the old city will no longer be widened, and pedestrian blocks will be set up to create a quiet and warm atmosphere in the hutongs. Temple of Heaven, BeijingPhoto by Victor He on Unsplash The plan also proposes to make use of the cultural spaces along the central axis to give priority to supplementary public functions, constructing museums, memorials, cultural centres, art galleries, libraries and other cultural facilities, to revitalize the central axis. While promoting the protection of cultural relics and landscape restoration on the central axis, we will strengthen the infrastructure and public services to continuously improve the environmental quality along this route. Promote the implementation of one standard for online and offline artistic creation Beijing will promote online arts and culture to create a new world of cultural life. It will implement one standard for online and offline work in order to promote quality online arts and culture, moving from low quality to high-quality. The plan proposes that the implementation of the online arts and cultural improvement project supports the creation and production of original online art works, improve online literature, film, drama, performance, music, animation and other emerging artistic artforms. The implementation of the one standard is to promote online arts and culture from low-quality to high-quality and the production of many leading art works. At the same time, to expand the channels of artistic communication and improve the efficiencies of artistic communication, so that online arts and culture becomes an important way to supply high-quality cultural products. By 2035, the per capita area for public cultural facilities will increase to 0.45 square meters By 2035, the area for public cultural facilities will increase to 0.45 square meters per capita, and the public cultural facilities network will achieve greater geographical coverage by reaching cultural services every 15 minutes. By 2035, Beijing will build digital libraries, digital cultural venues and digital museums for every district. Hutong, BeijingPhoto by zhang kaiyv on Unsplash The plan proposes: to build a modern public cultural services system that is convenient and efficient and to promote the public cultural service facilities to have quality content, diverse suppliers of content, intelligent service methods and to build a complete, convenient, efficient, high-quality modern public cultural services system. In optimizing the layout of the city’s public cultural facilities, it is necessary to guide the construction of new large-scale cultural facilities to densely populated areas such as Huilongguan Tiantongyuan and areas with weak cultural facilities. In expanding public cultural services, Beijing will improve state-owned museums’ curatorial capacity and the level of public cultural services to make good use of folk museums and private museums, and create a museum city with a reasonable layout, rich exhibitions and distinctive features. Beijing will create a more diversified public cultural space by dredging, remediation and reuse of the space. At the same time, it will explore the introduction of creative elements in large communities to improve community governance and promote public cultural facilities, knowledge services, creative counseling and other comprehensive functions. In terms of providing high-quality public cultural products and services, the plan proposes to reach modern public reading service systems every 15 minutes, including public libraries, comprehensive bookstores, specialty bookstores and community bookstores so that Beijing becomes a "city of books with a strong human atmosphere". Beijing accelerates the construction of "cultural business districts", strongly promoting high-quality cultural consumption Beijing will strive to build itself as a design capital, film and television capital, performing arts capital, music capital, online gaming capital, world tourism city, art trading center, and an exhibition center, so that the city becomes a high-quality, cultural, creative and innovative center. At the same time, accelerate the implementation of the "cultural business districts" plan to build a new batch of cultural and leisure spaces integrating art performances, interactive experiences and fashion to create a new cultural and commercial landmark with a global reputation. The plan proposes to build an innovative and creative city of global competitiveness and establish a modern cultural industry system and culture market system of global influence. It aims to promote the integration and development of cultural and technological, financial, sports and other related industries, and to cultivate new dynamics for the development of cultural industries. Specifically, to encourage and support the development of independent designer fashion, accessories, jewelry, cosmetics, interiors, digital electronics and other high-end fashion industries; to enhance the ability to produce outstanding original film and television content and to provide all-round high standards of supporting services; to promote the planning and creation of original theatre including operas, dramas, musicals, dance, children's theatre, etc., extending the performing arts industry chain, and introducing immersive, interactive and other performing arts formats. We will promote the creation of original music, increase the support and reward for the creation of songs, project incubation, performance display, publicity and promotion, and encourage enthusiasm to support original music. Beijing will also accelerate the implementation of the "Cultural Business District" program to promote quality development of commercial streets such as the Dashilan, Wangfujing, Xidan, Wukesong, Blue Harbor, Sanlitun, Longfu Temple, etc., Beijing will accelerate the construction of new commercial districts, high-quality cultural facilities, cultural landscape, cultural projects and cultural industries to attract international well-known brands and original independent brands to create a new cultural and commercial landmark with global visibility. Da Shilan, BeijingPhoto by Yingchih on Unsplash In the city's important urban development areas, such as the sub-center “three cities and one district", the new Shougang area and Beijing Daxing International Airport Economic Zone, there will be new cultural and leisure spaces for art performances, interactive experiences and fashion consumption. The launch of "Night Beijing" is being planned to create a culture of evening cultural and leisure consumption. Beijing will develop a season of community cultural consumption, cultural market and other activities so as to cultivate the concept of cultural consumption and enhance cultural consumption capacity. Beijing Tourism Consumption in 2035 will account for more than 30% of the city's total consumption By 2035, Beijing's tourism consumption will account for more than 30% of the city's total consumption, and the number of inbound tourists to Beijing will reach about 10 million, of which the proportion of international government affairs, business and conference tourists will account for at least 50%, creating new growth for the capital's economic development. The plan proposes that Beijing should become a world-famous tourist city that demonstrates the charm of Chinese culture, based on the capital's deep cultural heritage and resource advantages to build a resource system, service facilities system and industrial system of global influence and competitiveness. In order to build tourism into a new growth area of the capital's economic development, Beijing will deepen the structural reform in the tourism sector, build a tourism economic platform, cultivate major cultural tourism projects, cultivate influential cultural tourism enterprises, and cultivate "specialized, refined and new" small and medium-sized tourism enterprises. It will further enhance the cultural connotation of tourism products, the level of scientific and technological products, green products, and enhance the experience and satisfaction of tourists. The plan also proposes to promote the internationalization of the tourism public services environment, improve multilingual travel guides, traffic maps and tourism applications, implement multilingual menus in hotels and restaurants and achieve full coverage of English on public transport. It will improve international tourism services for tourist enquiries, medical facilities, tourism complaints, emergency relief, foreign currency exchange and other multilingual services. The plan proposed to improve the quality of tourist toilets and optimize barrier-free facilities for tourist venues, and to focus on creating smart cities, smart scenic spots, smart hotels and smart rural tourism for the development and promotion of "one-click tour of Beijing” mobile app. About the Article The plan is interpreted by the British Council. The Chinese version can be found here. Banner image by zhang kaiyv on Unsplash.

A Guide to Arts and Culture Opportunities in China

A Guide to Arts and Culture Opportunities in China

25 Feb, 2020

Opportunities for international collaboration in China are wide -ranging. The British Council in China has commissioned this practical guide to arts, culture and creative activities to help UK stakeholders access these opportunities. This report is to support cultural and creative organisations, artists, practitioners, and SMEs to better understand the trends and developments across China’s cultural and creative sectors. All too often, relationships are focused on the largest markets and the so called first tier cities including, Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen and Guangzhou. This guide also highlights the “off the beaten path” developments and opportunities in China. These include new and emerging fields of arts and culture as well as cities and regions which have their own unique cultural identity and offer. The report is broad in scope, covering national and regional policies, and cultural projects and activities from the breadth of China’s provinces and sectors. It should act as a starting point to encourage artists, SMEs and institutions in the UK to further explore relevant opportunities for collaboration in China. The British Council commissioned a similar guide in 2008. In the past ten years, the cultural sector in China has changed drastically with huge investment in infrastructure and massive audience growth. The number of large UK institutions working in China has also increased to include the Tate, British Museum and the V&A. The new guide provides an up-to-date view of the Chinese cultural landscape with the aim of strengthening the existing cultural relationship between China and the UK. Particular focus is given to opportunities for SMEs, individual artists and smaller institutions who would like to work in China. The guide lays out the opportunities for the UK in sectors that are relevant across all of China, including: performing arts, film, the visual arts, cultural heritage and cultural tourism. It also covers regional developments and opportunities across four of China’s key territories: North-Central, East, Greater Bay Area and South West.