Feng Jicai: Chinese culture should not be 'industrialized'

0 CommentsPrint E-mail By Ren Zhongxi, March 11, 2011
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Feng Jicai discusses culture at a recent press conference.

Chinese culture will not fully blossom without Chinese people's full consciousness of their own cultural identities, said Feng Jicai, renowned author and vice president of the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles, at a press conference on March 10.

At the conference, Feng argued that over-commercialization is damaging the authenticity of China's cultural works, despite the country's great efforts to promote Chinese culture at home and abroad.

China's art and literature sectors have developed rapidly in the past few years to serve the needs of the growing consumer market. The problem with this trend, Feng argued, is that mass production hurts creativity.

"Some people will use the verb ‘build' to describe cultural products," Feng said. "But culture is related with spirit and soul. You can not ‘build' a poem," Feng said.

Fei Xiaotong, the founder of Chinese sociology, raised the concept of "cultural self-consciousness" years ago. In recent years, the government has begun to realize the importance of culture in society. In his Mar. 5 government report, Premier Wen Jiabao wrote: "Culture's influence on a nation and its people is deep and far-reaching."

This recognition from cultural and political leaders, Feng said, was not sufficient enough to make a far-reaching impact.

"Only when everyone is conscious can our culture make progress," Feng said.

Feng blamed the materialization of Chinese society as a factor in artistic decline, and suggested that artists calm down and more completely immerse themselves in their creations.

"The whole society worships money. We artists should keep our consciences and think deeply," Feng said.

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