19th ICIF to introduce Chinese culture through creative means
Broad participation reflects ‘vitality and charm’
Published: Jun 06, 2023 09:56 PM
Photo: Courtesy of ICIF

Photo: Courtesy of ICIF

The 19th China (Shenzhen) International Cultural Industrial Fair (ICIF) is geared up to debut on Wednesday in Shenzhen, a digital technology manufacturing powerhouse in South China's Guangdong Province. 

Facilitating the creative digitalization of the Chinese cultural industry is the 2023 fair's main theme. A total of 3,596 exhibitors, including cultural organizations and government groups across China's 31 provinces, the Island of Taiwan and the Greater Bay Area's Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions, will all take part. 

This broad participation reflects the "vitality and charm" of the Chinese cultural industry, Wang Xingkun, an industry expert, told the Global Times, noting that the different organizations represent how local cultural assets can "diversify the industry's creative content" while also turning the fair into a "true sharing platform giving birth to new collaborative projects." 

The Yungang Grottoes, a UNESCO-listed heritage site in North China's Shanxi Province, will be brought to an indoor venue at the fair through digital means. 

A 5-meter-long touchscreen has been installed as part of a multiplayer interactive exhibition at the Shanxi exhibition area. The Grottoes' "Music Cave" (Cave 12) has been digitized and will be projected onto the screen so audiences can paint the site's many frescoes with the touch of their finger. 

Exhibiting a digitized version of the famous Chinese painting A Thousand Miles of Rivers and Mountains as a case study, exhibitor Shenzhen Culture Assets and Equity Exchange will launch an on-site IP signing ceremony during the fair. The company aims to support classic cultural legacies and continue "spreading Chinese cultural concepts to the international market," cultural creative product expert Yao Yun noted. 

"Continuing developing cultural IPs can also result in reciprocal interaction between the cultural and economic fields," Yao remarked. 

During the fair, a cultural industry investment promotion conference will be launched in cooperation with e-commerce platforms to discuss how to turn creative resources into lucrative projects that can underpin the industry. 

Resonating with the theme of "smart technology" and the exhibition Cultural Creativity in the AI Era, robots will be dispersed about the venue to promote the fair's activities and update trading information.  

Comprised of four sections, such as "innovating digital culture," the exhibition is a highlight that aims to showcase the latest technological achievements in the cultural industry. 

Capitalizing on the fact that 2023 is the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a related international exhibition area has been designed for the fair. 

More than 300 overseas exhibitors are set to join the Shenzhen exhibition. Exhibitors from countries such as Belgium, France and Germany will join the show's European Exhibition Area.

Dirty Monitor, a Belgian creative art studio that has collaborated with Chinese enterprises for more than seven years, is one of the organizations that will take part. 

Other areas, such as the Asian Hall, will gather exhibitors to highlight the importance of ASEAN's joint efforts to build a "Belt and Road economy," whereas the African Hall features exhibitors from countries such as Namibia and Togo to promote China-Africa cultural exchanges.   

Founded in 2004, ICIF is China's only national-international cultural industry fair that embraces overseas visitors. The 2023 fair is scheduled to end on Sunday.