China will stake a claim to making one type of its folk arts, the Spring Festival (or Chinese Lunar New Year) pictures, listed among "masterpieces of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity" accredited by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Xu Zhenshi, director of the New Year Pictures Committee under the Chinese Publishers Association, said the application will be sent to UNESCO soon. He made the remarks Wednesday at the opening of the sixth exhibition of New Year pictures in Shanghai.
This exhibition is the largest one of its kind since 1949, showing 1,200 pictures which display the evolving history of the arts over the past century.
The New Year picture is one of the most widely accepted types of traditional Chinese folk arts. The pictures, which used to be hung on doors or walls to lend a festive atmosphere, usually depict folk stories or legendary figures in traditional Chinese painting techniques.
A few forms of Chinese folk arts have also been filed with the same application to UNESCO, such as paper-cutting, Zheng (or a Chinese zither with 25 strings), and Kunqu Opera, which was honored by UNESCO on May 18 as one of the six masterpieces in Asia.
The next proclamation of masterpieces of the same kind will take place in May 2003.