A dough sculpture by young Chinese artist Lang Jiaziyu Photo: Courtesy of Lang Jiaziyu
In 2023, a series of noteworthy topics have emerged in the Chinese cultural landscape. In the planning of the 2023 Cultural Gala, the Global Times will delve into nine important topics, aiming to showcase the multidimensional aspects of Chinese civilization and the diverse charms of Chinese culture.
This is the third installment of the Global Times’ Year-end Special on Culture, in which we review how a trendy term, Guochao, or China chic, evolved and crossed with other industries or ideas to reshape contemporary fashion and lifestyle thanks to the imaginative minds of the young Chinese innovators in the past year.
At the start of 2023, a sprightly illustrator in his early 30s suddenly skyrocketed to fame on China’s social media platform Xiaohongshu. Li Shichuan rise to stardom was no stroke of luck. Just before his newfound popularity, he had a whimsical idea to infuse the millennia-old Chinese tradition of the lively lion dance into his artistic pursuits. With a quirky twist, he brought this age-old tradition to life in a vibrant, cartoonish style, captivating throngs of fans.
This lion dance enthusiast, however, represents just one of the many Chinese trendsetters. Similar creative minds are brewing in the cultural cauldron, reshaping China’s traditional elements through the lens of modern reinterpretation.
Hailing from Hangzhou, East China’s Zhejiang Province, fashion designer Wu Haiyan told the Global Times that today’s young innovators are steering away from the overly literal expressions of Guochao, or China chic. Instead, they’ve developed a more sophisticated grasp of the concept.
“Young creatives from diverse fields nowadays are getting better at mastering the skills of weaving this concept into their respective industries, merging it with various themes like environmentalism, technology and more. This shift