Artists: cultural industry needs more support

By Ren Zhongxi
0 CommentsPrint E-mail, March 8, 2011
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During a group discussion of the Fourth Session of the 11th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) on March 4, a diverse group of Chinese artists said the government doesn't recognize the importance of developing the cultural industry, nor offer it sufficient support.

Renowned Peking opera performer Yu Kuizhi speaks at the group discussion. 

Although the draft of the 12th five-year plan lists the cultural industry as a future pillar industry, artists say there is not much government support.

An anonymous member of the CPPCC who manages a state owned performance troupe said the investment in cultural industry was only 30.7 billion yuan ($4.94 billion). He said state-owned performance companies receive about 10 million yuan a year, which is one eighth of what a Hong Kong folk music company receives. This makes it necessary for his troupe to earn money by performing around the country.

"It's impossible to create good art when our actors don't have the time and energy."

He also accused the mass media of constantly producing junk programming or "fast-food entertainment" that destroys audiences' ability to appreciate qualified performances. He suggested the government provide more funding for the cultural industry and issue supporting policies, such as reducing taxes and lowering ticket prices to events such as operas.

"If the government doesn't pay attention to cultural industry, Chinese culture will never be influential in the world," he said.

Besides investment, artists also seek greater publicity for their art. Renowned Peking opera performer Yu Kuizhi wants the media to report more on talented young artists and educate the public.

Actress Song Chunli brought up the need for the government to supervise cultural products, especially those intended for children.

"A lot of children's programs are not suitable because there's too much violence," Song said.

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