To raise students’ awareness of preserving the Maritime Cultural Heritage (MCH), cultivate potential talents of research and preservation, and promote UCMSR members’ cooperation in preserving MCH, the University Consortium of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (UCMSR) held the 2022 Summer Program both online and in person from July 18 to 29. The program, themed “Preserving Maritime Cultural Heritage”, was organized by the Secretariat of UCMSR with the support from the School of Architecture and Civil Engineering of XMU.
The program included three parts, namely online seminar, in-person and online field trips. The online sessions attracted over 580 teachers and students from 32 member universities, including Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, Chulalongkorn University in Thailand, the University of Sheffield in the UK, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, University of Macao, Wuhan University, Jilin University, Shandong University and so forth.
From July 18 to 22 was the online seminar. Invited were Prof. Wang Shaosen from School of Architecture and Civil Engineering in XMU, Fabio Fratini and Loredana Luvidi, Researcher from National Research Council, Italy, Yan Haiming, Deputy Director of ICOMOS China, Marie-Noel Tournoux, Project Director of WHITERAP-Shanghai, Heng Chye Kiang, Deputy Dean from National University of Singapore and other experts and scholars. The lectures’ topics ranged from design with history, composition, building techniques and conservation issues of architecture, the system and significance of the Maritime Silk Road, to the values of cultural heritage and the development of the Maritime Silk Road. The lectures introduced the origin of the Maritime Silk Road to the students, exhibited the aesthetic of design in the cultural heritage and highlighted the indispensable significance of cultural heritage in maintaining the continuation and promoting the development of world cultures.
The field trip attracted student representatives from Jimei University, Fujian Medical University, Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Xiamen University of Technology and Xiamen University. Students visited the tea factory in Anxi, southeast of Fujian. Through experiencing the process and the knowhow of tea manufacturing, participants have clearly understood the importance and historical value of tea during the trade trajectory of the Maritime Silk Road. In Dehua, a county in Quanzhou, students visited the ancient kiln site of Qudou Palace and understood the ups and downs of the porcelain trade by experiencing the techniques of porcelain making. In Zhangpu County, Zhangzhou, Prof. Zhang Xianqing, Vice Dean of the School of Sociology and Anthropology, took the participants into the world of paper cutting, getting a glimpse of the beauty of changes in paper cutting and the time-honored cultures. The field trip has introduced more knowledge of preserving MCH to the students and promote their friendship.
The program also arranged online field trip from July 25 to 29 to cover those who could not visit in person due to the pandemic. The sites included Gulangyu Island, Twin Pagodas at Kaiyuan Temple, Dehua White Porcelain, Zhangpu Paper-cutting, and Tulou, all of which are significant cultural heritage of the Maritime Silk Road. The online field trip showcased the history and cultural value of these cultural heritage and provided a better understanding of the role that the above heritage played in promoting cultural continuity and development.
Maritime Cultural Heritage, as an important legacy of the cultural achievements of the Maritime Silk Road, connects cultures and countries, inspires exploration and innovation, and facilitates communication and mutual learning. Participants shared their feedback of the program, consider the 2022 UCMSR Summer Program a channel of sharing profound insights from the experts and scholars. The field trip displayed the unique charm of the cultural heritage, raised students’ awareness of persevering the MCH, and evoked their enthusiasm for the further exploration of MCH and the Maritime Silk Road.
(Secretariat of UCMSR)