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Center\Village rescue 120:
(Tel)86-022-27400263
(Fax)86-022-27407360
Address:
Feng Jicai Research Institute
of Arts and Literature
, Tianjin University, 92 Weijin Road, Nankai District,
Tianjin
(postcode: 300072)
Email:
chuantongcunluo@126.com
Project Introduction
Project Introduction

Traditional villages refer to villages that have a long history, rich heritage and cultural characteristics. These villages are increasingly disappearing with the evolution of history and under shocks of modern society. However, they are the heritage that China cannot lose and can never regain once it loses them. They are the “last homeland” that bears our national genes and our solidarity, as well as the human achievement of our 5,000-year-old civilization. Mr. Feng Jicai once wrote in the People’s Daily, that traditional villages are not entirely intangible cultural heritage. They are a combination of two types of heritage. They are the last fortress for Chinese intangible cultural heritage and the root culture of the Chinese nation. To preserve traditional villages is to protect the most precious tangible and intangible cultural heritage of China. The preservation of traditional villages is different from preservation of any other kind of cultural heritage. There are still large amounts of residents living in them. Therefore, the production and life activities of the villagers should be taken into consideration while the preservation work is carried out, as well as their living state and nature of humanity. 

President Xi Jinping once mentioned during a government work meeting for urbanization that “(we must) let the city merge into the nature and let the resident see the mountain and the water and gain an attachment to home”. While somebody is still doubting whether it is necessary to preserve traditional villages, what the officials of the central government has said clearly suggests that the preservation of traditional villages is an integrated part of urbanization. It is essential to keep the natural landscape safe and sound, especially those that have great values to be inherited, historical memories, regional specialties, and ethnic characteristics, while the urbanization progresses stably.

Chinese Traditional Villages Archive-Building and Surveys is not only a record of traditional villages, but a basic survey of villages against a background where the current urbanization is speeding up and traditional villages in Chinese are increasingly dying. The survey will cover every single aspect of the villages. The information must be detailed, authentic, and confirmed. In the past, we had a limited understanding of root cultural values as those in traditional villages. Most of the villages didn’t have their own records. Therefore, during the transition of the era, they quietly disappeared. Since the launch of the “Chinese Traditional Villages” project in 2012, a total of 1,561 villages have been collected in the “Chinese Traditional Villages Catalog”, according to information published by the State Council Information Office. The project has gained huge support of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, Ministry of Culture, State Administration of Cultural Heritage and Ministry of Finance. A lot of experts and scholars from different areas have also taken part in the project. The government has clearly stated in the New Types of Urbanization Plan (2014 - 2020), during the process of urbanization, the shapes of the villages, ethnic culture and geographic cultural characteristics must be preserved. Traditional villages with historical, artistic and scientific values, communities and civil dwellings with characteristics of minority ethnic groups should also be preserved.

The launching ceremony and signatures of participants

Besides the indispensable scientific concepts, planning, standards and trials that we should provide in the preservation and development of traditional villages, one more thing must be immediately done is to build a basic archive for traditional villages. The project will conduct comprehensive standardized surveys of traditional villages and find the roots of the villages, and keep a record of the various primitive aspects of the villages with both texts and pictures. It will establish an archive for the historical and cultural resources and wealth of the country. This is the first time in history to compile a thorough checklist and record of the agricultural homeland. The two major professional associations of the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles — Chinese Folk Literature and Art Society and China Photographer Association – have carried such an important responsibility and the cultural mission that the era has put on us. With strong support of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development and a professional team from China Photographer Association, we are confident about keep the project’s quality high.


At the conference

This project will kicks off the campaign of preservation and development of Chinese traditional villages. It will save and rescue the most precious information on traditional villages amid waves of urbanization. It is also unprecedented across the world and will play a significant role in the study of traditional Chinese culture and the preservation and inheritance of cultural heritage. Such a project also corresponds to the government’s goal to achieve breakthroughs in important projects that are urgent for the country. It also meets the requirement to coordinate of different subjects and has an important meaning in real life.

A group picture of participants

Attachment:
Manual for Chinese Traditional Villages Archive-Building and Survey

By: Feng Jicai
Publisher: Culture and Art Publishing House
Publisher time: May, 2014 
Paperback: 125 pages
ISBN: 978-7-5039-5382-8



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