A Look into Innovative Transformation and Development of Chinese Culture in Shandong | Taohua Island of Yiyuan: Drawing a New Rural Picture through Arts and Culture

From:chinakongzi.orgAuthor: 2022-11-08 15:09

  “In a fairyland beyond this world, where the water reaches the sky, the peach blossom spring enchants the whole world.” This is the “peach blossom spring” described by Tao Yuanming. Over the years, the Yiheyuan Countryside Complex, with “Taohua Island” at its core, has revitalized villages with arts and culture. It has created a new picture of peach blossoms in the mountains of Yimeng and set an example for the innovative transformation and development of Chinese culture in Shandong.

  Art Town Reshapes Poetic Impression of Nostalgia

  Rambling in the Yiheyuan Rural Art Town, you can listen to the new stories of nostalgia told by stone-built ancient villages. Around the villagers’ houses and in the fields, you can find some 20 art and literature museums that are usually found in cities, such as Paul and Tina’s Home.

  The art museums in the mountain villages have a powerful background. International luminaries including the famous French designer Paul Andreu, Soichiro Fukutake, a well-known creator of Japanese rural revitalization with art, and the Japanese artist Tatsuo Miyajima were engaged in the creation of the Yiyuanhe Countryside Complex with “Taohua Island” at its core. The old villages that young people once wished to escape have now evolved into a cluster of cultural tourist attractions with unique characteristics.

  Today, for many young people in the villages, the look of their hometown is no longer a vague disappointment. Yiyuan has transformed their “old home” into a place of nostalgia by activating villages with art.

  Confucius School Goes to Villages to Be Spiritual Home for People on Taohua Island

  In 2021, Guo Chengyan, Party Secretary and Deputy Director of the Nishan World Center for Confucian Studies (Secretariat of the China Confucius Foundation), presented the nameplate to the Confucius School of the Rural Revitalization College at Shandong University of Finance and Economics, drawing attention to the “world’s peach blossom spring” once again.

  “The Nishan World Center for Confucian Studies will partner with Shandong University of Finance and Economics to cultivate rural areas and build the Confucius School into a spiritual home for the people on Taoyuan Island. We will make it a moral high ground to benefit society and a new era civilization practice center with unique characteristics,” according to Zhou Jing, Party Committee Member and Deputy Secretary General of the Nishan World Center for Confucian Studies (Secretariat of the China Confucius Foundation).

  The establishment of the Confucius School of the Rural Revitalization College at Shandong University of Finance and Economics is a real-life example of promoting traditional culture to rural areas and has played an active role in cultural revitalization in rural areas.

  In addition to the establishment of the Confucius School, Yiheyuan has worked with all sectors of society in recent years to organize more than 300 sessions of training and exchange. Tens of thousands of people have come here to study and exchange with each other, setting a “Qilu example” for rural revitalization.

  Activating and Transforming Rural Areas with Art 

  Over the years, Yiyuan has persisted in enabling rural development and promoting rural transformation with art and culture.

  The once dilapidated residences and the sheep pens at the hilltop have been turned into art museums and B&Bs with a cultural, artistic, and rural poetic touch; the once run-down mountain villages have become the venues for professors and experts to conduct seminars, forums, and lectures; the once five provincial impoverished villages have now grown into green and low-carbon villages dedicated to the development of circular, smart, and leisure agriculture...

  “Today, the villagers can enjoy the fruitful achievements of rural revitalization at their doorstep instead of having to go outside,” said Zhang Haiyang, Deputy General Manager of Shandong Taohua Island Artistic Village Culture and Tourism Development Co., Ltd.

  On flat land sit decent houses surrounded by fertile farmland, beautiful ponds, and lush trees. Today, in the villages where the primitive ecological beauty is preserved, people live and work in peace and contentment. Isn’t it exactly the sought-after “peach blossom spring beyond this world” as described by Tao Yuanming?


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