‘APEC Style’ a hit with Chinese internet users

By Cao Siqi Source:Global Times Published: 2014-11-12 1:28:02

The tableware set used at the APEC welcome banquet on Monday night Photo: ifeng.com

Traditional Chinese tableware and clothes at the welcome banquet for  Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings in Beijing drew the attention of the Chinese public, with experts attributing the surge of interest to their evocation of public nostalgia for traditional Chinese culture.

Enamel-coated porcelain, widely used in the court of Qing dynasty (1644-1911), was used to decorate the tableware in the banquet held at the National Aquatics Center on Monday night.

Wang Shi, executive vice president of the Chinese Culture Promotion Society, said that "the tableware blended traditional and modern Chinese elements, stirring the public's memories of traditional Chinese culture."

Zhuang Zhicheng, chief designer of the tableware, told the Global Times on Tuesday that "this set of tableware designed for the APEC banquet conveys [China's] message of best wishes and common prosperity."

"We avoided using the graphics of animals on the tableware [due to concerns about culture differences] and added Chinese elements such as ruyi (ornamental scepters often seen with Buddhist figures)," said Zhuang.

After many media outlets reported on the tableware's craftsmanship, "many people called our company saying they wanted to buy and collect it," said Zhuang.

The clothes worn by global leaders at the summit also attracted public attention. Sun Yu, CCO of High Fashion Silk (Zhejiang) Company, the provider of the clothes, said that the clothes used brocades common during the Song Dynasty (960-1279). After their appearance on world leaders, these so-called "APEC clothes" soon appeared on a number of storefronts on taobao.com, China's largest e-commerce site.

Zhang Yiwu, a professor of Chinese at Peking University, said that "the tableware and clothes in the APEC meetings aim to spread the spirit of traditional Chinese culture and focus attention on Chinese civilization."

The news portal fashion.sina.com put together a page dedicated exclusively to illustrating every detail of the clothes while Tencent's news portal qq.com designed an "APEC Fashion Show" game allowing smartphone users to select an outfit for this year's APEC family photo shoot.

"At this APEC meeting and other important conferences, Xi attached great importance to spreading traditional Chinese cultures as a signal of cultural renaissance," Wang said, adding that the attention paid to the traditional tableware and clothes should not be simply regarded as commercial, but should be viewed as a reflection of the public's respect to and delight in reviving traditional culture.


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