Bringing museum home after visit


A four-day cultural creative products expo, featuring museum merchandise, opened at the Shanghai Exhibition Center on Sunday.

The expo, part of the 12th China Art Festival which opens on May 20, attracts more than 700 museums, art galleries, design companies and cultural institutions from around the country.

Industry leaders such as the Palace Museum in Beijing, National Museum of China, National Library of China, Prince Kung’s Mansion and the Shanghai Museum will bring their latest products, limited editions and top-sellers both online and offline.

Popular items include silk bags of rose, clove and sandalwood, sword-like fruit forks, lipsticks designed with the clothing patterns of empresses on the tube, a 3D lamp printed with the old painting of "Lantern Festival Fun of Emperor Xianzong," stationery, jewellery, accessories, scarves, T-shirts, mugs and plates.

The opening day of the cultural creative products expo has attracted many visitors, especially young people.

“To bring the museum back home after people visit is what we’re aiming for,” said Feng Wei, vice general manager of Shanghai Museum Art Company.

The museum has more than 60 categories at the expo.

They include facsimiles of the work of painter Dong Qichang, (1555-1636). A major exhibition of the artist's work was held last December.

Popular items are gold-foil copy versions of “Qiu Xing Ba Jing,” or eight scenes of an autumn trip, earrings and bracelets inspired by Dong’s waters and mountains, as well as a homespun bag containing a pen, ink, notebook, rice paper and writing brush. There is even rice cake, made with the rice from Dong’s hometown, Songjiang District.

“We try to design different cultural creative products for different age groups with different tastes,” Feng said. "Customers today have higher demands and more diverse needs."

Long gone are the days when museums only had souvenirs of prints of old paintings on a mug, or replicas of antiques.

“Good cultural creative products can help visitors learn the history behind a heritage or an exhibition," Feng said. "We extract the traditional cultural elements from antiques and design modern, practical products."

In 2016, the sales volume of Palace Museum’s cultural creative products hit 1 billion yuan (US$144 million).

A visitor admires a creative product at the expo, which is running till Wednesday.

The year is regarded as a milestone in the opening-up of Chinese museums’ intellectual property operations.

The 94-year-old Palace Museum has led the way with innovation.

So far, it has developed almost 12,000 IP creative products. Last year it launched a set of lipsticks online that caused a national sensation — all the colors were from its red relics, and the tube design was inspired by the patterns on clothes worn by empresses and concubines.

The National Museum of China, another big player in the industry, has launched almost 5,000 IP products including stationery, furniture, clothes, accessories and electronics.

“What we are doing is to make the old, cold cultural relics live again in our modern life,” said museum spokeswoman Chen Xi.

In 2016, the national museum began a strategic cooperation with Alibaba Group and opened an online store. It is sharing its resources with other small private museums and art institutions.

Admission to the expo, which is running until Wednesday, is free though online booking. The address is 1000 Yan'an Road M.

Source: SHINE

Editor: Liu Qi

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