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Palace Museum’s cultural and creative products promote Chinese culture in a new way

Editor: Tong Xinxin 丨CCTV.com

12-09-2015 14:54 BJT

By Hu Yifeng, Research Branch Director, Chinese Literary Critics Association, Director, Chinese Literature Association and Art Review Center

2015 marks the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Palace Museum. Recently, the Palace Museum Taobao store launched a number of cultural and creative products, which has become a hot topic on the Internet.


In this group of cultural and creative products, the emperors and ladies transformed from their historically serious images to more affable figures. The Li Qingzhao figure (a female writer in the Song dynasty) shows off her scissors-like hands to the audience. The Kangxi figure (an Emperor in the Qing dynasty) wears glasses and holds roses that represent classic poses.

In fact, this is not a surprise from the Palace. During recent years, the Palace Museum has enjoyed significant cultural achievements through creative product development and promotion. Promotional items include: luggage tags that state "travel approved by the emperor”; earplugs in the shape of long strings; traditional Chinese fans printed with the words like “The sovereign is such a man”; bookmarks that state “Recruiting bigwigs for the princess”; the Eight Banners dolls and other items. 

Statistics show that the Palace Museum has launched more than 7000 kinds of distinctive cultural creative products and accessories. During the first half of 2015, the cultural and creative product sales had exceeded 700 million yuan. This figure represents more than the total sales of 2014.

The craze for Palace Museum’s cultural and creative products provides new ideas for museums to fulfill the mission of cultural heritage promotion.

As we all know, museums bear the responsibility of cultural heritage promotion and educating the public. The Palace Museum was a prominent palace of the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1840) and is the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world. The Palace Museum, established on the premises of the Forbidden City, is the leading museum in China.

The Palace Museum has developed and displayed many creative culturally distinct products through the use of micro blogs, wechat, taobao.com, and other media carriers. The Museum skillfully utilized “internet language” to successfully promote its cultural products. For instance, a Chinese character “Meng” means “cute” in Chinese “internet language” and this is used to describe aspects of the Palace Museum. This sort of internet language portrays the Palace Museum in an open and friendly way.  In today’s internet age, these approaches are appreciated by the youth.

China is a county with vast lands, a long history and a profound culture. The national museums have countless treasures. Local museums also have their unique treasures and distinctive collections, which serve as rich material for cultural and creative product designs.

Driven by the cultural and creative products craze initiated by the Place Museum, it is expected that local museums and other cultural institutions around the county will actively learn, design and produce more cultural and creative products in the spirit of the times to make Chinese culture more appealing.

The interest in Palace Museum’s cultural and creative products offers new approaches for Chinese culture to be promoted abroad.

As we all know, the Palace Museum is a famous cultural heritage site. It enjoys equal popularity with Versailles, Buckingham Palace, the White House and the Moscow Kremlin. The Palace Museum is a well-known attraction that enjoys international popularity and is one of the most important cultural landmarks in China.

The Chinese culture’s “go global strategy” requires a series of cultural symbols. The Palace Museum, the Great Wall, and the Terracotta Warriors belong to that group of cultural symbols. With China's rise internationally and the expansion of cultural exchanges, the Palace Museum’s role of cultural communication is increasing.

The issue of making the Palace Museum with valuable treasures, a cultural symbol with its historical evolution more lively, vivid, and enticing to modern people’s tastes has emerged as an important topic.

The issue relates to the heritage promotion of the Palace Museum’s identity in the world and the influence of Chinese culture internationally.

Undoubtedly, the Palace Museum’s cultural and creative products merit recognition and great online sales, which offers a new perspective for the people around the world to see and understand the Palace Museum and Chinese culture.

During a recent visit to the Palace Museum, many foreign friends were touring cultural and creative products stores. Foreigners show more willingness to purchase the lovely and cute emperor dolls, court ladies and soldier dolls rather than paintings or books.

This fully shows that, with creative and modern ideas, the ancient culture can enjoy and integrat in today’s modern life. It will bring joy to people's lives and will make Chinese culture will more appealing locally and internationally.


( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )



Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.


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