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Cloud expo promotes vast cultural heritage

By Yuan Shenggao (China Daily) Updated: 2023-01-09
A cultural products exhibition featuring virtual reality technology is part of the ongoing Shanxi Cultural Industrial Expo. [Photo provided to China Daily]

As one of the provinces in China with a wealth of cultural and historical heritage and monuments, it is almost impossible for ordinary tourists to tour all the sites of cultural and historical interest in Shanxi in a short period of time.

But Liu Tingting, a native of Central China's Hunan province who has been studying in a university in Shanxi for two years, said she had finished a complete tour of Shanxi's signature cultural sites in just a couple of days.

This journey has been made possible by a cloud cultural expo being held online. The cloud expo, which is officially called the fifth Shanxi Cultural Industrial Expo, began on Dec 26. It will last until the end of January.

Shanxi's landmark attractions, including the Great Wall throughout the province, Yungang Grottoes in Datong, Xuankong Temple in Hunyuan and the Wooden Pagoda in Yingxian, are exhibited with the technologies of virtual reality, augmented reality and 3D printing.

In addition, the cultural heritage items of Shanxi, including hand-polished lacquerware in Pingyao, chengni ink slab in Xinjiang county and fahua porcelain in southwestern Shanxi, are also on display.

Through video shows and digital technologies, visitors to this online expo are told the stories of the Taosi ancient relics site in Xiangfen county, which is related to a civilization more than 4,000 years ago; the head of a Buddha statue that was smuggled overseas and finally returned to its home at Tianlongshan Grottoes in Taiyuan; and the ancient production techniques for making the tuiguang — or hand-polished — lacquerware in Pingyao.

The online expo is also a showcase for the high-quality cultural development in Shanxi in the modern era. The show of Shanxi's high-quality cultural development is composed of seven sections — a themed showroom, as well as sections for cultural tourism, cultural heritage protection, performing arts, movies, broadcasting and television, and publishing and media.

There are also shows dedicated to the local cultures of Shanxi's cities. The Taiyuan showroom, for instance, highlights its culture related to the Jin Kingdom (1033-376 BC) and the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Taiyuan was the capital of the Jin Kingdom and the ancestral home of the royal family of the Tang Dynasty.

The northern Shanxi city of Datong showcases its association with the Silk Road. The renowned Yungang Grottoes in the city is one of the treasure troves of Buddhist culture in China, with its caves of statues, sculptures and carvings inheriting the arts that went all the way from the west to the east via the Silk Road.

There is a showroom dedicated to the creative cultural industry. This section shows how the industry has inherited the ancient cultural treasures of Shanxi and used innovation to grow in the modern era. The exhibits are also designed for marketing. Every item on show has its link to the exhibitor's online store, which can receive orders.

Wu Jia contributed to this story.