"Intangible Cultural Heritage in China" Enters the Charm of Jiangsu, Showcasing the New Vitality in Heritage Preservation and Innovation in This Era


When intangible cultural heritage meets technology, what kind of new vitality can emerge from Su embroidery? How are the patterns and styles of Zisha Teapots precisely crafted and fired? What kind of audiovisual experience will be brought by the Jianghu Acrobatic Poetic Drama, which combines culture and storytelling with technology and craftsmanship? What is the secret behind Nanjing gold foil with a thickness of only 0.0001 millimeters? "Intangible Cultural Heritage in China”, a big cultural program series co-produced by China Central Television and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, is currently on air. We invite you to join us on a journey into the charm of Jiangsu, experiencing the new vitality of heritage preservation and innovation.


Join the renowned CCTV host Sa Beining, the President of the Chinese Cultural Relics Society and the sixth director of the Palace Museum, contract research fellow of Central Research Institute of Culture and History, Shan Jixiang, as well as the actress Yang Tongshu on a journey to discover nearly 30 intangible cultural heritages that showcase the distinctive features of Jiangsu. Experience the blend of northern and southern cultures and the charm of the Wu style in Jiangsu's intangible cultural heritage.



Among these intangible cultural heritages, we have the well-known Nanjing gold foil forging technique and the Yixing purple clay pottery making technique. There are also the recently popularized techniques such as the velvet flower making technique and the Fuchun pastry making technique, which gained attention through television dramas. Additionally, there are locally distinctive arts such as Huaiju opera, Dafeng porcelain engraving, and Nantong blue calico printing and dyeing techniques. Thanks to the guardianship and intergenerational efforts of the inheritors, these skills not only embody the unique historical and cultural heritage of Jiangsu but also hold the contemporary interpretations of young people towards Chinese traditional culture.

When traditional Su embroidery meets innovative technology and is empowered by the shape-memory alloy (SMA), a touch on the embroidery brings forth the "magic" of flowers blooming and butterflies dancing. Transforming from flat two-dimensional embroideries to three-dimensional dynamic ones, the world's first interactive dynamic Su embroidery artwork has come into being.



A close look reveals intricate details, while from afar it appears three-dimensional! It took 58 people and three years to embroider the Su embroidery artwork "Westward Journey to Chang'an”, which serves as a testament to the transformation of Su embroidery from a craft into an art form. With two needles and two embroiderers, their unwavering concentration and perfect coordination are essential to create a dual-sided embroidery with contrasting colors. They have elevated Su embroidery to the status of a national gift and have become a window for inheriting and promoting Chinese culture.


Purple clay, also known as "Five-color Clay”, can form unique colors through the organic blend of different purple clay ores. Lv's twisted clay has added new elements to the design and innovation of Zisha Teapots, resulting in distinct styles and patterns. The intricate and exquisite craftsmanship has given rise to a myriad of shapes for Zisha Teapots, embodying the spirit of Chinese aestheticism that is "diverse yet harmonious" and "beauty serving functionality”.

As a representative of the Southern-style acrobatics, Jianhu acrobatics embodies the characteristics of both Wu and Yue cultures as well as Han and Chu cultures: it possesses masculine vigor while also exuding a graceful beauty. With a history of over 2000 years, when it is combined with poetic drama, a marvelous "chemical reaction" occurs, achieving a perfect fusion of the recitation of Huaiju opera and the skills of acrobatics, blending technique and art into a perfect combination.


500 sheets of beaten gold leaf have a thickness equivalent to that of a single hair! The secret behind achieving such thinness in gold leaf lies in the application of "black gold paper”. This new material is independently researched and developed in China. The combination of intangible cultural heritage and technology has enabled gold leaf to not only become thinner but also increased its production output by 30%.


Another core process in gold leaf production is called "transfer", which involves delicately picking up gold leaf with goose feather and gently placing it onto soft and fine fibrous paper. This task not only requires careful selection of the goose feathers but also demands high levels of skill and a suitable environment. It can only be accomplished with a calm and focused mind, regulating one's breath, and achieving a state of balanced and even breathing.


What kind of sparks will be ignited when Huaiju opera combines with cultural tourism? From traditional stage performances to integrated performances in tourist attractions, visitors can freely wander through the performance venues and gain a brand-new experience of artistic exploration.


Innovative interpretation is a crucial topic for the future development of intangible cultural heritage. The Jiangsu edition of "Intangible Cultural Heritage in China" captures the imprint of Jiangsu's heritage preservation and innovation, inviting us to explore the contemporary inheritance and innovative spirit of intangible cultural heritage, and experience the limitless charm of intangible cultural heritage.