50 intangible cultural heritage craftsmen were employed and 7,000 pieces were produced.
“The flowers wither, but the vase remains and contributes to cultural exchange.”
The 19th Hangzhou Asian Games, postponed due to COVID-19, will open on the 23rd. In this year’s Asian Games, athletes will receive vases rather than bouquets of flowers when receiving medals. This is the first time that a vase has been given as a prize at an international sports competition.
According to Xinhua News Agency and Beijing Youth News on the 22nd, the vase that will be used as a prize for the Hangzhou Asian Games is a work of art that contains the history and culture of Hangzhou (old name: Lin’an), the capital of the Southern Song Dynasty.
The prototype was released early this month. The name of the vase is ‘Shuoguo Lei Lei’ (硕果累累, big fruit in clusters), which means congratulating the players on the fruits of their efforts.
This 18cm tall vase was made with Oriental wood carving, a national intangible cultural heritage of China. Oriental wood carving is a traditional art from Dongyang City, Zhejiang Province, with a history of 1,400 years, and is characterized by elaborate expressions. The Asian Games organizing committee accepted the suggestion of Huang Xiaoming, an intangible cultural asset intangible cultural asset of Oriental wood carving, who suggested, “How about adding traditional cultural elements to the award gifts so that participating athletes can retain the memories of Hangzhou and Zhejiang culture?” It has begun.
The shape of the vase was inspired by the Guanyao Huago (官窑花觚) porcelain cup from the Southern Song Dynasty. Guanyohwago was a ceremonial vessel and drinking cup used to celebrate victory during the Warring States Period, but during the Song Dynasty, it developed into decorative ceramics mainly used for flower arrangements.
Professor Zhang Wen of the Chinese Academy of Fine Arts, who oversaw the design and production of the vase, said, “The artistic achievements of the Song Dynasty are represented by ceramics. “Jan’s design reflects simplicity, one of the important aesthetic concepts of the Song Dynasty, and is consistent with the minimalism of modern design,” he explained.
The wave shape at the entrance of the vase contains the poetic rhythm of the Zhejiang landscape. The open mouth of the bottle is engraved with images of the three mascots of the Hangzhou Asian Games making dynamic movements with happy expressions.
Professor Jang Won said that he was inspired by four Song Dynasty painters in the process of choosing the mascot’s posture. He said, “In particular, the various movements, gestures, and dynamism of children in paintings by Northern Song Dynasty painter Xu Hanqian are very addictive,” and “I felt that artists 1,000 years ago wanted to express a vitality similar to ours today.” said.
The vase had to be light and practical as it was used as a demonstration product. The design team incorporated ergonomic design using data such as athletes’ hand size and grip. It was revised 12 times after sharing opinions with instructor Huang Xiaoming. Through this, we completed a design that feels stable when players hold it in their hands and is not uncomfortable when worn on their arm.
From the beginning of this year, about 50 Dongyang wood carving craftsmen began producing vases. All pieces were carved by hand using a carving knife from beech trees that commonly grow in southern China. Under the guidance of instructor Huang Xiaoming, 7,000 vases have been completed so far.
The flowers delivered in vases include rice ears and lotus flowers, which symbolize good harvests and fruitfulness, Chinese-bred laurel flowers, also known as ‘red-blooded hearts’, Phalaenopsis orchids, which symbolize the red cloud purple, the symbolic color of the Asian Games, and Longjing tea, a specialty plant of Hangzhou. It’s paper.
Professor Jang Won said, “Flowers may wither slowly, but a vase lasts forever,” adding, “Each player taking these flowers to their hometown is actually like cultural exchange between countries.”
The mascot for the Hangzhou Asian Games, which was previously unveiled last year, was also designed by Professor Jang Won. The mascots Tian Tian (宸宸), Chong Chong (琮琮), and Lian Lian (莲莲) each represent Hangzhou’s three world cultural heritage sites.
Tiantian, with its wavy head, symbolizes the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, which was built over hundreds of years starting in the 7th century. It is named after Gongchuan Bridge, a landmark on the Hangzhou section of the Grand Canal.
Chongchong, which symbolizes the ‘Liangju Ancient City Ruins’, symbolizes the jade bell, a representative artifact excavated from the ruins, and has a jade bell-shaped head. The Liangzhou Ancient City ruins were recognized as ‘Outstanding Universal Value’ (OUV) by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee as evidence of the early prehistoric state and urban civilization 5,000 years ago in the Yangtze River basin.
Lianlian is inspired by Hangzhou’s West Lake, which is listed as a World Cultural Heritage site for its beautiful scenery. His head is covered with green lotus leaves floating in the West Lake.
The three mascots symbolize cultural heritage and are expressed as robots. There is a clear ambition to simultaneously promote China’s historical and cultural values and cutting-edge scientific and technological developments through the Asian Games.
Reporter Kim Hee-won [email protected]
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