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Tibet’s culture industry gradually becomes a new pillar for development

By Zhu Shan Source:China Tibet News 2017-02-25

Dating back to 1,300 years ago, Princess Wencheng, daughter of Emperor Li Shimin of the prosperous Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD), married Tibetan King Songtse Gampo. Now, Wencheng-based outdoor performance named “Princess Wencheng” not only helps increase the income for the local but also creates a unique cultural brand. “Princess Wencheng” is also an epitome of Tibet’s culture industry.

In recent years, the regional government has taken a series of measures to protect and inherit Tibetan culture. In 2015, the output value of Tibet's culture industry amounted to three billion yuan, accounting for 2.8 percent of Tibet’s GDP. With an annual growth rate of 15.27 percent, culture industry in Tibet gradually becomes a new pillar for development.

Thangka, an art card of Tibetan culture, is an traditional Tibetan art of scroll painting, usually inspired by Buddhist themes. In 2012, China’s Tibet launched a project--“hundreds of Thangka paintings”. It was the first time to be based on geography, history and humanity. Han Shuli, president of Tibet Artists Association, said that the new Thangka art creates a new style of Thangka featuring humanism and realism. It is a reform for Tibet’s traditional Thangka art.

Recent years have witnessed that Tibet strengthened the cultivation of culture industry's market and featured culture products. Thangka, Tibetan carpets, Tibetan incenses, Tibetan paper and other traditional culture achieved great development and became a batch of famous brands, greatly enhancing the influence and competence of Tibetan culture's products.

Taktse County, 20 kilometers from downtown Lhasa, has a population of less than 30,000. In recent years, Taktse County has developed featured culture industry. “Tunmi Ling Tibetan Art Park” has started building in March of 2016. It will be put into use in 2019, when it becomes a culture industry’s comprehensive park including art, tourism, culture, shopping, study and visiting. The park will receive three million tourists annually and create 1,500 jobs.

Tsechokling Village, with a planned area of 800 hectares, is the core area of Tibetan culture’s tourism creative park that is planned by Lhasa, capital of southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region. “Princess Wencheng” art performance center, Tibetan medicine creative park and other seven functional zones are included. Through the brand effect of “ Princess Wencheng”, the whole culture tourism creative park achieves great development. In 2014, the creative park was listed into the fifth batch of national culture industry’s demonstration park.

By the end of 2016, registered culture companies in Tibet reached 4,860. Cultural industry’s demonstration park and base also play an important role in the development of culture industry.

In 2015, a joint conference of Tibetan featured culture industry’s development sector was set up, promoting the coordinated development of Tibetan featured culture industry. In the December of 2016, the Culture Bureau of Tibet Autonomous Region and Alibaba Group held an activity--”Internet plus Tibet’s intangible cultural heritage” including more than 10 Tibet’s intangible cultural heritages such as Tibetan opera, Thangka, Tibetan medicine, Tibetan calligraphy and Tibetan incenses. Meanwhile, 28 inheritors also show the craft of Tibet’s rich intangible cultural heritages.

Culture industry is firstly included into highland featured industry in Tibet’s 13th Five-Year Plan. Gangqing, director of the Cultural Bureau of Tibet Autonomous Region, said that the featured culture industry focusing on culture tourism, national handcraft, featured festival performance and national art will be built. The output value of culture companies will double that of 2015. Culture industry becomes Tibet’s new pillar industry.


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