Cultural Heritage

On our Cultural Heritage page we feature all the posts that relate to the subject of Chinese cultural heritage and projects on cultural heritage preservation.

China, considered one of the worlds oldest continuous civilizations and comprising of 56 ethnic groups, has a lot of cultural heritage to preserve. From protecting uncovered (and covered) Terracotta Worriors to government subsidized rents for workshops and galleries to enable local artisans to continue creating and teaching their local trades and handicrafts, preserving cultural heritage is a multi-faceted task, and one that is not easy. After all, living in an original Qing dynasty courtyard house with no central heating or plumbing, trying to go about your daily life whilst surrounded by western bars and shops, is not a well balanced solution for preserving a particular area’s cultural heritage. Cultural heritage preservation often occurs in areas with larger or more diverse ethnic groups (i.e. areas where the majority people are of an ethnic group other than Han Chinese), for examples in the old town areas in Cities such as Dali or Lijiang in Yunnan, for the purposes of attracting tourists. Whilst in these examples the quality of living conditions for the local people have surely increased, it is still a rather superficial form of preservation, not a long term solution. Sometimes there is a form of second-hand cultural preservation that emerges from urban restoration projects, such as for example with the Nanluoguxiang area in Beijing. Whilst the street itself is very much commercialised for tourists, sprucing up an area in a local community can have a positive effect on that wider community, such as taking better care of properties, opening small businesses and so on.

If you’ve come across an article about, or a had a personal experience involving preservation of Chinese cultural heritage that you would like to share with us, feel free to contact us.

Half a Day in Chengde

Half a Day in Chengde

230km north-east of Beijing, away from the smog amongst more green and mountainous surroundings lies a prefecture-level city called Chengde. Chengde is best known for it’s Qing Dynasty Mountain Resort. This is where the Qing Emperors spent many of their summer months, surrounded by trees and lakes escaping the oppressive heat of the Forbidden City. The palace grounds are situated… Read more →

Beijing's Dongsi Area as an Example of Building Preservation

Beijing’s Dongsi Area as an Example of Building Preservation

Red Capital Residence I was lucky to find myself living in close proximity to one of the few protected areas in Beijing when I first moved here in 2010; the Dongsi 东四 area in Dongcheng district. The 14 hutongs (traditional Beijing alleyways) in this area are under a high level of preservation protection thanks to some innovative courtyard restoration projects that… Read more →

Interview With A Forbidden City Restoration Expert

Interview With A Forbidden City Restoration Expert

 With Spring quickly approaching and a rare Beijing “blue sky day”, I recently found myself with a perfect opportunity to visit a local courtyard project in the city. I was invited by a friend Ian, an Old China Hand who also has an interest in Beijing’s culture and heritage, to visit a private courtyard in Banshang Hutong in the Xidan… Read more →