Gourd Culture Art Festival

October 18, 2023  20:14  |  News

The 15th China Jiangbei Watertown and Pearl of Two Rivers (Liaocheng) Gourd Culture Art Festival took place at the Chinese Gourd Cultural Park in Dongchangfu District of Liaocheng from October 14 to 16. The event attracted numerous renowned artists, skilled craftsmen, scholars from universities and businesses, and over 5,000 gourd merchants hailing from 17 different provinces across China.

Gourd Culture Art Festival

Trading area of Yellow River Market in the Gourd Culture and Art Festival. Photos – courtesy of News Office of Dongchangfu District of Liaocheng ©

Themed “Inviting People Everywhere to Talk on the Bond with Gourd,” this year’s art festival offered a vibrant array of activities and events. These included the Chinese Gourd Craft Competition, an exhibition showcasing exquisite Chinese Boutique Gourd Products, displays of entries from both the Chinese Gourd Craft Competition and Gourd Cultural Creativity Competition, a striking hundred-meter-long scroll painting of gourds created by young talents, a visit to the gourd growing base, the influential Summit Forum on Gourd Industry, an auction featuring exquisite gourd products, the inauguration ceremony of the Chinese Gourd Culture Institute, the unveiling of the Hai’er Cosmosplat online platform for the gourd industry, and efforts to promote cultural and tourism projects in Liaocheng, including gourd trade negotiations, as reported by the News Office of Dongchangfu District in Liaocheng.

This year’s art festival also highlighted the Chinese Gourd Craft Competition and Gourd Cultural Creativity Competition, both of which attracted a total of 88 entries, each showcasing a diverse range of styles and innovative concepts. Notably, five pieces by Ma Jianghong, such as “Flying Apsaras,” received gold prizes in the Chinese Gourd Craft Competition, while “Monk Sibu” by Hong Fulu and “Gourd Made Aromatherapy Device of Qiantang” by Ming Jinzhong and Xie Yuchen won gold prizes in the Chinese Gourd Cultural Creativity Competition.

Gourd Culture Art Festival

Flying Apsaras, a gold prize-winning entry in the Chinese Gourd Craft Competition.

In 2008, Dongchang gourd carving achieved official recognition as a national intangible cultural heritage, and the Dongchangfu District was designated as the epicentre of gourd carving culture and art in China. Its gourd sales reached 75% of the national market share, generating an annual benefit of 1.6 billion yuan. The gourd trade’s clustering effect, known as “buying and selling gourds across the world,” became increasingly prominent.

Gourd Culture Art Festival

Boutique gourds of different crafts, models and designs are shown in the Chinese Gourd Culture Museum.

The China (Liaocheng) Gourd Culture and Art Festival was inaugurated in 2007 and has been held for 14 consecutive years. Initially, it featured around 60 exhibitors and has since evolved into an event with over 5,000 participants. Its geographical influence has expanded from four neighbouring provinces and municipalities to encompass the entire nation. The festival’s turnover surged from 6 million yuan to 120 million yuan, making it an iconic cultural and tourism industry brand in Liaocheng and a pivotal platform for the exchange of gourd culture in China.