Zhejiang Kaihua Root Carving Art Shines at 76th Venice International Film Festival
This year’s star-filled Venice International Film set the stage to showcase film works, filmmaking talent, and the best film shooting locations in China. Among these, Kaihua county, a mountainous county in China’s Zhejiang Province, caught the audience’s imagination with its unique and historic root carving art.
Audiences learned that Kaihua’s root carving dates back to the Tang Dynasty at “China’s Best Film Shooting Locations” on August 29, as part of the annual “Focus on China” event held during the Venice International Film Festival.
According to Mr. Lu Xiaguang, Mayor of Kaihua County, the heritage of root carving art has a history of centuries in China. As time went by, it has become not only more creative and exquisite but also more integrated into modern life and the urban landscape.
With the growing appeal of root carving art, Kaihua is attracting more foreign tourists and gaining international recognition. Engaging in international exchange, the county collected long-forgotten tree roots from around China and neighboring countries, and transformed them into art works that can return to their places of origin with a new lease of life. In this way, Kaihua has developed its own “Belt and Road” of root carving that boosts its local tourism and global linkages, Lu said.
Besides root carving, Kaihua also boasts a rich cultural heritage such as Qigao, the so-called “Oriental Pizza,” and some local folk dances, he noted.
At the event, an Italian couple named Roberto and Serena who have formed a special bond with Kaihua root carving art since 15 years ago due to the work on its exhibitions, told the audience that they were impressed by not only the high value and pure natural essence of the art works, but also the hospitality of local people.
Extending the invitation to the world filmmakers and people at the event, Mr. Xu Guqing, a master artist of root carving, hopes that this artistic legacy can provide inspiration and material for their creativity and adventure.
This is the 4th year that “Focus on China” was held as a side event at the Venice International Film Festival, with an aim to enhance the cultural exchange between China and Italy and facilitate China-EU cooperation in filmmaking and trade.
VR Film Screening in Venice Showcases World-Heritage Recognized Chengjiang Fossil Site
Thanks to advanced VR technology, a fossil site in Chengjiang, Yunnan, was brought to life through a short VR film, “Home of Cambrian period”, screened during the 76th Venice International Film Festival on Thursday.
Chengjiang Fossil Site was one of the places recommended at the “Best Film Shooting Locations” session of the annual “Focus on China” event co-hosted by ANICA and Xinhuanet during the Venice International Film Festival. Audience attention was drawn by the spectacular landscape, rich heritage, and significant scientific value as captured by the unique virtual reality experience.
According to Vice President of Chengjiang Shanshui Tourism Development Co.,Ltd. Mr. Wei Wei, Chengjiang Fossil Site, located in the Southeastern Yunnan, is known as “the cradle of life on the earth” for its presentation of the one of the world’s most complete record of an early Cambrian marine community, where at least 16 phyla and more than 200 species have been documented by far.
UNESCO inscribed Chengjiang Fossil Site into the World Heritage List in 2012. The only one of its kind in Asia, the site reveals an “exceptional testimony to the rapid diversification of life on Earth 530 million years ago,” opening a “window of great significance to scholarship.”
As Wei introduced, the film production started in 2018, aiming to raise understanding of the Chengjiang Fossil Site and its value to the world. In this film, VR technology recreates how groups of ancient local animals survived a series of earthquakes and volcanic disasters as well as other key events leading to the formation of the fossil site.
By releasing this VR film, Chengjiang invites filmmakers from around the world to use this unique fossil site as a production location. It is also hoped the film will draw fossil enthusiasts, students, and tourists to Chengjiang to discover the magic of evolution.
This is the 4th year that “Focus on China” was held as a side event at the Venice International Film Festival, with an aim to enhance the cultural exchange between China and Italy and facilitate China-EU cooperation in the filmmaking and trade.