Lehai, a platform under China’s leading mobile livestreaming platforms provider Scienjoy, has recently wrapped up its “Shining Intangible Cultural Heritages” campaign, which ran for nearly two months. As the opening chapter of Scienjoy’s “Rediscovering Intangible Cultural Heritages” project, the campaign leveraged forms such as platform activities and highlight contents to fuse intangible cultural heritage (ICH) crafts with the livestreaming scenario. By doing so, it effectively mobilized the enthusiasm of ICH inheritors, streamers, and users for shared participation and expression, helping enliven ICH contents with strong cultural attributes and facilitating the spread and inheritance of traditional culture.
Poster of “Rediscovering Intangible Cultural Heritages” Campaign
Big Culture on Small Screen
Featuring distinct Chinese cultural qualities, ICHs are vivid witnesses of Chinese civilization’s continuous inheritance, and carry important aesthetic, historical and cultural values. However, with the transformation and development of our society, many ICH practices are facing various challenges such as hibernation in market function, loss of craftsmanship, and difficulty in finding inheritors. To pursue better development, some ICH practitioners have been trying to expand their "second stage" in recent years, leveraging the digital trend, in particular emerging media forms such as livestreaming and short video, to tap new market opportunities and revitalize traditional cultural inheritance.
ICH Inheritor Wang Xi Performs Classic Shadow Play Show
Among the campaign’s many activities was a discovery tour of the Jingxi Shadow Play, which visited the production process of shadow puppets from skin selection, leather making, drawing, carving, to eventual coloring through the livestreaming camera. Under unique performing conditions, the puppets’ glamorous colors and sophisticated carvings will deliver perfect and harmonious visual effects, greatly satisfying users’ demand for customized handicrafts. At the livestreaming session, Wang Xi, an inheritor of the Jingxi Shadow Play, showcased the art form’s magnificent craftsmanship, shared behind-the-scene stories of her career, and performed excerpts from classic shows such as The Legend of the White Snake and Mulan, enabling the livestreaming audience to intuitively and deeply feel the charms of the ICH practice.
Revitalize ICHs in Our Lives
With the development of industrialization and urbanization, some traditional customs have changed, pushing the wonderful culture inherited from our ancestors away from modern life, so many cultural memories have been gradually forgotten. Wang Xi said: "The best way to celebrate ICHs is to have them revitalized in our lives." Indeed, the key to ICH inheritance is "revitalization", which needs to connect to trending elements to better tap into people's daily life.
ICH Inheritor Wang Xi Showcases Customized Shadow Puppet Gifts
Notably, the just concluded “Shining Intangible Cultural Heritages” campaign revolutionized the previous model of pure online livestreaming – it creatively combined platform activities with ICH practices and presented virtual images and virtual gifts on customized ICH handicrafts before showing them through livestreaming. On the one hand, the campaign built on the livestreaming platform’s exclusive contents to enliven the ICH culture and bridge the audience. On the other hand, it broke the time and space constraints of ICH demonstration to meet users’ diverse content needs. An executive from Lehai noted: "We hope that through our efforts, users will own ICH-themed artworks that are specifically relevant to them, and feel the spiritual essence of sophisticated handcraft embedded in traditional culture along with our dedicated service. We hope that through such a combination, more users will get to know, understand, and even love ICH crafts, and become willing to pay for such craftsmanship, therefore promoting the sustainable development of ICHs in China.”
ICH Inheritance Starts with All of Us
Promoting craftsmanship and conserving ICHs are by no means a temporary idea and act of Scienjoy, which has devoted years of time and energy into the conservation of ICH practices.
ICH Inheritor Wang Xi Shares Behind-the-Scene Stories
Previously, Scienjoy has launched themed livestreaming campaigns such as “Meeting ICHs”, “Saluting Classics”, and “Discovering Eco-Harmonious Countryside”, which led Chinese netizens to approach ICHs and explore their beauty through the perspective of streamers. Launched in November 2022, its “Rediscovering Intangible Cultural Heritages” project will allocate more resources to traditional culture, using methods such as technical means, functional services, and highlight contents to fuse digital technology with ICH crafts. Through the project, the company hopes to leverage trendier and more youthful expressions to engage young viewers so that they further follow, understand and love ICHs. Wang Xi said: "ICH inheritance is not just a responsibility of the inheritors, but one for all Chinese people."
Looking forward, Scienjoy will continue to explore more innovative content forms, and further combine high-quality contents with user experiences. An executive in charge of operations at Scienjoy stated: "All of us have a role in conserving China’s invaluable ICH practices and crafts. Scienjoy wants to be an ‘ICH guardian’, by enabling the inheritors to connect with a broader audience through our popular livestreaming platforms. That will in turn make the viewers fall in love their craftsmanship and the spiritual essence of ICHs, as well as help inheritors spread and pass on their unique crafts.”