(ECNS) -- A two-day cultural forum titled "Global Design: Inspired by China" was held in Beijing from Jan 17-18.
Designers, artists, media representatives and cultural scholars gathered and expressed their visions of how to promote Chinese culture in the era of new media and increase China's global influence.
A new website, discoverychina.org, was launched at the forum.
The website's main purpose is to promote cultural exchanges between China and other countries by serving as a platform for artists and designers to embrace Chinese culture. Artists and designers will then use the inspiration to create projects that contain Chinese cultural elements.
The Guardian Art Center next to The Forbidden City in Beijing is an example of a culturally inspired project. The art center was designed by Ole Scheeren, a German-born architect and the principal of Büro Ole Scheeren, and contains iconic Beijing architectural elements such as alleyways and courtyards. The art center was referenced by CNN as "The Most Anticipated New Building in 2017."
Ole Scheeren described the project as "a building for the display and exchange of art, carefully embedded within the small scaled historical fabric while resonating with the surrounding contemporary context."
Addressing China's history and culture within the modern concept is really important for designers, Ole said at the forum.
Considering that China has 5,000 years of history and a vast cultural heritage, faithfully delivering China's image to the world in a comprehensible context is crucial, He Yun'ao, Director of the Nanjing University Institute of Cultural and Natural Heritage, said at the forum.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening-up, and China has made huge progress, with fast economic and technological growth, said He Yun'ao. During that rapid economic growth, cultural and spiritual development has been neglected. This can be addressed now through new media forms and technologies, he added.
Alan Griffin, project director of Time Inc, said that China is a very entrepreneurial country with great culture. In addition to traditional cultural output, promoting innovative products like Wechat to the world is also a good way to increase China's global influence.
Innovation and entrepreneurship were the two most discussed words during the forum, where foreign designers and artists expressed their views on China. Technological products like Wechat were frequently mentioned by foreign artists and media representatives, praised as perfect platforms for expressing cultural ideas.