A Chinese Documentary Produced by iQIYI Revives Interest in the Country's Traditional Art Forms
Strive to Perfection takes a close look at the inherent beauty that is part and parcel of China's intangible cultural heritage
BEIJING, July 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- China, one of the four ancient civilizations, is home to a deep and rich cultural heritage. The country's traditional culture is both mysterious and charming - a culture that has held and continues to hold an immense amount of appeal for audiences worldwide. Recently, a documentary, Strive to Perfection, took a close look at the craftsmanship that serves as hallmarks of the culture, lifting one corner of the mysterious veil of the ancient country.
The documentary Strive to Perfection, produced by China's online video platform iQIYI, creatively tells the story behind China's traditional art from a novel, multi-faceted viewpoint. The documentary, with a focus on the many dimensions of the rich collections that constitute the traditions and the glory of those traditions, has been proven very popular with young viewers across China.
The fourth season of Strive to Perfection is now being broadcast. The first three seasons of the documentary were shown on both the online platform and CCTV-10, the science- and education-focused channel of China's state-owned nationwide television broadcaster, receiving positive feedback from China's documentary industry, leading media organizations and commentators. The first three seasons were viewed more than 80 million times.
A tribute to the country's intangible cultural heritage
The just launched fourth season of Strive to Perfection takes a close look at eight aspects of the country's intangible cultural heritage, showcasing the ancient oriental artistries - peach-stone carving, redware, Suzhou embroidery, Ru Kiln, black tea, color glaze, blue and white china and rock tea - through the craftsmanship of the country's top nine craftsmen.
One of the more moving illustrations is peach-stone carving master Song Shuiguan's creating a carving of 19 human figures on a five-centimeter diameter olive pit.
"Teapot magicians" - Lyu Yaochen and his son Lyu Junjie - pioneered the "Lyu's twisted mud" technique, bringing the Chinese teapots to the international stage.
"Suzhou embroidery queen" Yao Jianping was named "the folk artist" by UNESCO in 1997. Her globetrotting art exhibition attracted an unprecedented number of visitors, while several of her works have been presented to domestic and foreign celebrities as national gifts. Yao is also quite accomplished in the art of portrait embroidery, having embroidered portraits for the Queen of the United Kingdom Elizabeth II, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad and Crown Princess of Japan Masako. The nine inheritors of intangible cultural heritages honoring the "national craftsmen" are creators, witnesses and integrators of the China's intangible cultural heritage as the art forms continue to gain recognition worldwide.
Inheriting the intangible cultural heritages: providing an informative introduction to Chinese culture
In the documentary, the supernatural craftsmanship coupled with the determination of the artist or artisan and his or her passion for the intangible cultural heritages expressed by China's traditional craftsmen act as an inspiration to the country's young generation, encouraging them to think about the spirit of "devoting one's life to a single work", a quality that is admired in traditional culture. The showcasing of the craftsmanship has served to fuel a revival of interest in the ancient traditions. It is only natural for members of the country's young generation to idolize the ancient craftsmen. The elaborate documentary Strive to Perfection has proven very popular, in large part due to iQIYI's insistence on maintaining the highest standards as the platform strove to constantly improve the quality of the original content.
Strive to Perfection is a pioneering endeavor to reveal to the world the amazing beauty inherent in China's intangible works, providing an informative introduction to anyone interested in Chinese culture and further reinforcing the growing recognition of the contribution made by one of the world's greatest cultures.
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