Cultural & Creative Industry Viewed from ICCIE

By Sara Yan, China IP,[Comprehensive Reports]

The 4th China Beijing International Cultural & Creative Industry Expo (ICCIE) concluded on November 29. Nearly 100 exhibitions, forums, promotions and trade fairs, creative activities and art performances attracted 430,000 visitors, making it the largest ICCIE ever held.

Just as economist Li Wuwei once pointed out, the creative industry is a warm current amid the economic winter.

A full range of creative products

This year’s ICCIE presented visitors with a feast for the senses: you could leave your “Armstrong footprint” in a simulated space harbor, touch a transformer “Optimus prime”, watch a shadow play from in front of and behind the curtain, paint and operate a model game and appreciate such folk arts as Tibetan embroidery, root carving and paper cutting. From high-tech to daily necessities, creativity sparkled everywhere.  

A model of a human skull made of cigarette butts, gourd painting, root carving, digital star map, garments made from packing boxes and used paper strings…these were gadgets on a stand at the Beijing New Countryside Youth Cultural & Creative Works Exhibition in hall 6. The simply constructed stand, which belonged to Guorui, a company devoted to demonstrating traditional Chinese cultural products, attracted a crowd of visitors. General Manager Zhan Haiyu, who had just moved the company into the Beijing Youth Entrepreneur’s Demo Park, was full of hope for the future, “our Jurui Traditional Culture Web will soon go online, turning overseas sales into a possibility.”

The Huajiang Culture in the sports hall, however, kept a much higher profile. As a large-sized international cultural and creative industry company that integrates research, design, production and sale, Huajiang was a licensed producer, retailer and venue operator of Beijing 2008, and has become an exclusive licensed dealer of badges for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Many of its Olympic and animation derivative products were on display.

Apart from a dazzling array of creative products the ICCIE was also a reflection of technological innovation and environment concerns.

A batch of fruits from emerging culture and technological innovation made a debut. The high-definition interactive digital TV from the Beijing All Media and Culture Group achieved a transformation from “watching TV” to “using TV”, while Founder showed a “WeFound” portable browser. A high-simulation robot also made an appearance.

A fashionable suit made of cards, displayed not only creativity but the idea of using waste material. An intelligent garbage disposal system designed for university cafeterias, when put into the market at the right time and technology, was believed to reduce food waste significantly.

On top of the product display were dozens of activities categorized as exhibitions, forums/summits, promotions and trade fairs, creative activities and art performances, including a cross-Straits trade promotion at which a contract value of 22 million Yuan was signed.

Ideas create wealth

Apart from a showroom of ideas, the ICCIE also witnessed the inking of intentions and agreements totaling USD 5.52 billion, covering fields in publishing, movie/TV production and trade, design creativity, artifact trade and cultural tourism and giving full play to the vitality of the cultural and creative industry.

As a matter of fact, the industry has played an increasing role in Beijing’s economic pattern. Latest figures from the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Statistics showed that during the first nine months of 2009, added value of the industry had taken 11.8% of the capital’s GDP, against the 10.1% in 2004. “Beijing’s cultural and creative industry has grown from a start-up into a new stage of fast, stable growth and become an important force to fight crisis and ensure development and stability, as well as a new growth point in the capital economy,” said Chen Dong, Vice Director of the Publicity Department of the Beijing Municipal Committee, at the recent 3rd China Beijing Investment and Financing Forum for Cultural and Creative Industry.

Just as John Howkins, “father of international creative industry”, put it: “I’m fully confident in China’s creative industry. Though having started late, it will grow at an astonishing speed.”

(Translated by Li Heng)

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