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Traditional crafts may appear to be boring to the youth. This is what Jockey Club ICH+ Innovative Heritage Education Programme works on - preserving and revitalizing Intangible Cultural Heritage and conventional cultural values to make them appealing and sustainable. After all, these items are the ones that best represent the city and its people, fostering an ethical identity and cohesion amongst citizens.
Intangible Cultural Heritage at a Glance
In this programme, traditional artisans, contemporary art practitioners and the general public are invited to take part. Community participation is deemed to revive Intangible Cultural Heritage, reclaiming the cultural essence of artisanship.
9 items inscribed onto the Intangible Cultural Heritage inventory of Hong Kong have been selected as core subjects of ICH+ since 2018, including Paper Crafting Technique, Cheongsam Sewing Technique, Paper Cutting Technique and Blown Sugar Technique etc. Participating students are introduced to the work process of those items in workshops, where they also get a chance to integrate their creativity into traditional craftsmanship by curating their artworks. Outstanding artworks would be displayed in the annual showcase of the programme as enlightenment.
Paper craft products are shaped with solid bamboo, strips of bamboo and rice paper, in addition to silk fabric. After the three-dimensional skeleton is formed, its body gets painted and assembled. The four major steps in paper crafting include binding, paper-mounting, painting and adorning. The skeleton of the model is being first created. After rice paper strips are applied onto the skeleton, patterns and protective paint are being applied before felt decorations are added as a final touch.
Cheongsam, also known as Qipao, has been a popular type of costume amongst Chinese women since the 1920s. It was transliterated from its name in Chinese, which literally meant “long robe”. The word “cheongsam” used to refer to both men’s and women’s wear but it usually refers to feminine body-hugging dresses now.
The quality weighs heavily on the coherence between the body and the cheongsam, as well as the sewing skills of the master. The process of making cheongsam is rather complicated, which includes measurement taking, fabric cutting, lining cutting, etc.
The sewing techniques of Hong Kong-style Cheongsam and Kwan Kwa Wedding Costume were listed on the first “Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Hong Kong” by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department in 2017.