Experts: Joint Efforts Dedicated to Promoting the Creation and Transformation of Jiangnan Culture in the New Era

On October 19th, the 5th Yangtze River Delta Jiangnan Culture Forum and the 2nd Jiangnan Culture and New Urban Construction Forum were held in Shanghai. In the parallel forum, experts and scholars from three provinces and one municipality (Jiangsu Province, Zhejiang Province, Anhui Province, and Shanghai Municipality, respectively) in the Yangtze River Delta focused on topics including the interactive development, humanistic economy, creation and transformation of Jiangnan culture in the new era. They enthusiastically shared their insights, discussing the inheritance and innovation of Jiangnan culture to empower high-quality development and enable a better life.

Xiong Yuezhi, a Research Fellow of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, presided over the “Creative Transformation and Innovative Development of Jiangnan Culture” forum.

Wang Yonghao, Chairman of the Shanghai Literature and Art Critics Association and Professor of the Chinese Department of Fudan University, addressed an audience with a speech entitled “New Development of Jiangnan Culture in the Present Environment.” In the speech, Wang argued that without a good understanding of Jiangnan culture one finds it hard to describe Shanghai or present the so-called Shanghai Style to the world. Accordingly it is particularly urgent to figure out ways to to reinvent the city’s unique glamorous image based on its glorious history and culture. On the other hand, the reinvention should be forward-looking. In the future, cities are destined to become, in an important way, the site of technological competition and the engine of social development. Meanwhile, the history and culture of cities are likely to become the source and defining force of social changes.

Wang Lan, President of the Shanghai Yan Huang Cultural Research Association and Former Secretary of the CPC Group of the Shanghai Writers Association, was particularly concerned about enhancing the awareness of the “vehicular innovation and transformation” for Jiangnan culture. The long-standing means of expressing Shanghai culture need to be modified creatively and, more important, new “vehicles” must be invented. New fashions and trends have to be incorporated and current lifestyle and aesthetic tastes should be taken in. The emerging digital technologies will prove particularly helpful for such vehicular innovation. At least, people will find the immersive experience most impressive. For such effort of innovation, specific planning, expert guidance, talent cultivation and governmental support are important, while the major position of the market should never be ignored. In a word, innovation is vital for the traditional Jiangnan culture to live on and live well. She noted that Jiangnan culture had long been a major factor that held the Yangtze River Delta together as a social community.

Prof. Fan Jinmin of the School of History of Nanjing University pointed out the regional culture of Jiangnan has wielded significant influence since the Ming and Qing Dynasties. He suggested drawing inspiration from history while launching new products, building famous brands, absorbing capital and pooling talents to propel economic development and social progress in the Yangtze River Delta by a synergy of culture and economy. 

Ge Yonghai, Dean of the College of the Humanities of Zhejiang Normal University compared Jiangnan’s glorious literary tradition to a powerful magnetic field, in which much can be activated. He suggested the tradition be used for the contemporary cultural tourism industry to promote the massive regional cultural tourism planning of the Yangtze River Delta, to optimize new forms of smart cultural tourism, to open up a new realm of immersive cultural tourism. In this way, the Delta may pave a way for development that embodies the distinctive features of Jiangnan culture as well as the “New Era” characteristics of current China. 

Ding Xiuzhen, Deputy Dean of the School of History of Anhui Normal University, interpreted the Yangtze River Delta region’s special intellectual and cultural scheme in the Ming dynasty based on some special rules for the Imperial Examinations and Official Selection system (keju). He urged us to learn from the glorious past of the region’s cultural prominence to prioritize the cultivation of human resources, especially the raising of local intellectual, creative and enterprising leaders.

Cai Guangjun, Vice Secretary of CPC Jinhui Town Committee of Shanghai’s Fengxian District and Mayor of Jinhui Town, also made a speech, noting that Jinhui Town was taking shape as early as the Southern Song Dynasty and boasted a rich historical and cultural heritage. Looking ahead, the town aims to preserve the roots of its excellent traditional culture while making great efforts to advance the construction of spiritual civilization and promoting the industrial revitalization through exchange and development, in order to realize the vision of a “Grand Glamorous Jinhui”.

RELEASE TIME2023-12-14