Cultural exhibition opens in Shenzhen

Updated: May 24, 2024 By DENG ZHANGYU China Daily Print
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A women's Yingge dance team dressed as legendary heroines Mu Guiying and Hua Mulan perform at the international cultural industries fair in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, on Thursday. [Photo by Xuan Hui/For China Daily]

China's largest cultural exhibition opened on Thursday in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, attracting thousands of visitors from home and abroad. It is expected to showcase the nation's rich cultural products, advanced technologies and achievements in cultural industries and international cultural trade.

The 20th China (Shenzhen) International Cultural Industries Fair, which runs through Monday, has brought together, both online and offline, more than 6,000 delegations, cultural institutions and companies from 60 countries and regions.

Over 120,000 cultural products are being displayed at the event, and organizers estimate about 90,000 visitors from around the world will attend the fair online and offline.

The exhibition venue, roughly the size of three soccer fields, is comprised of eight halls, with each focusing on a specific theme, such as intangible cultural heritage, tourism and consumption, art and design, and film and television.

The section dedicated to international cultural trade embraced several new participants this year from home and abroad.

The Frankfurt Book Fair — the world's largest trade fair for printed and digital content — made its debut at the exhibition with a booth showcasing children's and architectural books, as well as the 2022 and 2023 series of the "Most Beautiful German Books".

Ole Doering, who is facilitating the introduction of the Frankfurt Book Fair in China, said that books are a powerful medium for connecting people and fostering mutual understanding.

"We look different, eat different foods, speak different languages and live different lifestyles. But underneath, we are so similar. Books are unique products that help people share cultures and learn about each other," he said.

Doering expressed his excitement over the feedback the booth received from Chinese visitors and said he looks forward to bringing the book fair to other Chinese cities.

Tom Bryant, founder of the Edinburgh-based creative animations and visual effects studio Interference Pattern, said he has brought his studio to China for the first time.

This is Bryant's second visit to the country, during which he aims to explore opportunities for collaboration with his Chinese counterparts. He said he hopes to either introduce his animations to the Chinese market or import technologies from Chinese enterprises.

"It's a good experience here; so many passionate visitors. Chinese companies have good skills, and I really want to find opportunities to work with them," said Bryant, who last visited Shenzhen nine years ago during his first trip to China.

In addition to new international participants, emerging Chinese companies that engage in online dramas, online literature and online games — the new trio of China's cultural exports — have also joined the exhibition.

Miniseries produced by Reelshort, a video-streaming platform of California-based Crazy Maple Studio that is owned by Chinese digital content provider COL Group and made its debut at the exhibition, have garnered a significant international audience.

Reelshort's love story series, often comprising 50 to 100 episodes, with each episode lasting only one minute, have gained great popularity in North America, particularly among the younger generation.

Jiang Xiezhen, co-founder of Shenzhen-based YoyWow, a company providing overseas content distribution services, said they started investing in miniseries in foreign markets this year.

"China is producing innovative content in cultural sectors, such as miniseries and online literature. After years of quality development in culture, our nation is confident about its cultural industries. The exhibition is an excellent platform for showcasing our products and engaging with the world," said Jiang, whose company is also participating in the fair for the first time.

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